MP denied additional water to Gujarat from Narmada Dam
BJP-ruled MP Madhya Pradesh, will undergo assembly election this year, has denied to give any additional water sought by BJP ruled Gujarat. MP government has categorically turned down Gujarat government’s demand to provide more water to save the Narmada river. Considering the industry’s needs in Dahej and to save Narmada river’s ecology and the livelihood of lakhs of people, the Gujarat government requested the Centre to increase the discharge in the downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam from the present 600 cusecs to 1,500 cusecs. Narmada river stretch in Bharuch has gone dry as meagre water is being released from the dam, a phenomenon noticed over the last 2 years.
Narmada department, had written an official letter in January to the Union ministry of environment, forest & climate change, seeking more discharge into the river. He sent request again to the Government of India last month on which till now there is no response.
In January 2006, the environment sub-group of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) decided that minimum 600 cusecs of water would be released for 157 km downstream length, either through the RBH river-bed power house or through the Godbole gates. On this Gujarat government said that 600 cusecs of water is not adequate. In the earlier years, the total release of water in the downstream during a water year was quite significant because of the river-bed power house operation and the overflow during monsoon. Therefore, there was no significant adverse impact in the downstream. However, over the last 2 years, due to limited running of the RBPH, 600 cusecs being released through Godbole Gates is just not sufficient to meet the downstream environmental requirements.
Gujarat government was approached by MPs, affected people, and NGOs who have raised serious concerns on issues such as salinity ingress, poor water quality, water depth, width of flow, erosion, and the movement of boats.