Skip to main content

'Avoidable' Gujarat floods: Flood manual puts onus on Narmada dam operators, not NCA

By Our Representative

The Gujarat government’s Flood Manual (FM) does not appear to think that the Narmada Control Authority (NCA), the powerful inter-state body with Central water resources secretary as its chairperson, has any role to play in the flood management and gate operation on a day-to-day basis of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) on Narmada river in Gujarat. 
Extensively citing from the state FM, well-known environmentalist Himanshu Thakkar of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has asserted that that the “in the entire 437 page FM-2020 or 540 page FM-2018, there is handful of mention of NCA, but only in the context of some guidelines.”
Contesting the claim by a top Gujarat government insider (see Counterview) that it is NCA’s, and not SSD operators’, or the Gujarat government mammoth agency, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd’s (SSNNL’s), responsibility, to ensure flood control in the downstream of SSD, in Bharuch district of Gujarat, by properly operating the dam’s gates, Thakkar, said, “FM makes it clear that the entire responsibility and decision making about the SSD flood management and gate operation is decided at the SSNNL level.”
He underlined, FM "says categorically: ‘Focal officer – SE (Headworks, Kevadia Colony) fully responsible for gate operation and flood management irrespective of any supporting order done.’ (Para 2.3.1.3/ 2.11.6) There are several such instances that make it clear that in gate operation and flood management, SSNNL alone is responsible, even in its own eyes.”
According to Thakkar, this shows that the “diversionary balloon” that an anonymous person described as ‘a top Gujarat government insider’ was trying float through the Counterview article dated September 11 was “trying to mislead the people about the SSNNL’s responsibility for the SSD operation that led to the avoidable Bharuch flood disaster during Aug 29-Sept 2, 2020.”
Meanwhile, a senior IAS bureaucrat, who has worked in top positions of SSNNL, has told Counterview that while it is true it is the top inter-state body NCA alone is responsible for SSD operations, this is at best be a theoretical possibility.
Insisted this bureaucrat, “What is NCA? It consists of the four lateral states – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Rajasthan – and the Union water resources secretary as its chairperson. Surely, Rajasthan and Maharashtra wouldn’t be interested in how SSD operations.
“So, for all practical purposes, whatever Gujarat, MP and the Union government prevails. Even here, Gujarat would be having the full say”, he added.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”