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

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

US 'frustrated' with India’s discomfort: Maritime exercise in South China Sea

By Vijay Prashad*  In early April 2024, the navies of four countries -- Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States -- held a maritime exercise in the South China Sea. Australia’s Warramunga, Japan’s Akebono, the Philippines’ Antonio Luna, and the United States’ Mobile worked together in these waters to strengthen their joint abilities and -- as they said in a joint statement  -- to “uphold the right to freedom of navigation and overflight and respect for maritime rights under international law.” 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Palm oil industry 'deceptively using' geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9. 

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.