The tribals in Gujarat will hold a public meeting in Kaprada in Valsad district to protest against the Centre’s Par Tapi Narmada river-linking project.
What is the Par Tapi Narmada river-linking project?
- The Par Tapi Narmada link project was envisioned under the 1980 National Perspective Plan under the former Union Ministry of Irrigation and the Central Water Commission (CWC).
- The project proposes to transfer river water from the surplus regions of the Western Ghats to the deficit regions of Saurashtra and Kutch.
- It proposes to link three rivers —
- Par, originating from Nashik in Maharashtra and flowing through Valsad,
- Tapi from Saputara that flows through Maharashtra and Surat in Gujarat, and
- Narmada originating in Madhya Pradesh and flowing through Maharashtra and Bharuch and Narmada districts in Gujarat.
- The link mainly includes the construction of
- seven dams (Jheri, Mohankavchali, Paikhed, Chasmandva, Chikkar, Dabdar and Kelwan),
- three diversion weirs (Paikhed, Chasmandva, and Chikkar dams),
- two tunnels (5.0 kilometers and 0.5 kilometers length), the 395-kilometre long canal (205 kilometre in Par-Tapi portion including the length of feeder canals and 190 km in Tapi-Narmada portion), and six powerhouses.
- Of these, the Jheri dam falls in Nashik, while the remaining dams are in Valsad and Dang districts of South Gujarat.
- An official of the Ukai dam explains how the excess water in the interlinked Par, Tapi and Narmada rivers which flow into the sea in the monsoon would be diverted to Saurashtra and Kutch for irrigation.
- During the monsoon season, the water which is supplied to Saurashtra through the state government from Sardar Sarovar dam will be saved and used for other purposes.
- Presently the water of Sardar Sarovar is used in urban areas and for irrigation in Saurashtra.
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Gujarat, Maharashtra and the central government on May 3, 2010, that envisaged that Gujarat would get the benefit of the Par Tapi Narmada link project through en-route irrigation from the link canal and in the drought-prone Saurashtra Kutch region by way of substitution.
- The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project was prepared by the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) in 2015 and modified on the intervention of the Gujarat government, through letters the then chief minister wrote in 2016.
How will the project affect villages?
- According to a report by the NWDA, about 6065 ha of land area will be submerged due to the proposed reservoirs. A total of 61 villages will be affected, of which one will be fully submerged and the remaining 60 partly.
- The total number of affected families would be 2,509 of which 98 families would be affected due to the creation of the Jheri reservoir, the only one in Maharashtra, spread over six villages.
- The affected families may lose their lands or houses or both in the submergence when the reservoirs are created.
- As per the report, the affected families would be compensated for the loss of their lands and houses and those whose houses are submerged, would be resettled.
- Par-Tapi-Narmada link project is expected to irrigate an area of 2,32,175 hectares, of which 61,190 ha is en route to the link canal.
- The project aims to harness the excess water that flows into the sea by interlinking the rivers. This will also help in containing regular flood-like situations in the rivers in Valsad, Navsari, Surat and Bharuch.
What are the tribals’ fears?
- The districts where the project will be implemented are largely dominated, by tribals who fear displacement.
Visit Abhiyan PEDIA (One of the Most Followed / Recommended) for UPSC Revisions: Click Here
IAS Abhiyan is now on Telegram: Click on the Below link to Join our Channels to stay Updated
IAS Abhiyan Official: Click Here to Join
For UPSC Mains Value Edition (Facts, Quotes, Best Practices, Case Studies): Click Here to Join