In 2007, Gujarat used only 7% Narmada dam water
As Reported in Yahoo! News Thu, May 29 01:40 AM

Gujarat, the state meant to benefit most from the dams of the Narmada
Valley Development Project used less than seven per cent of the water
it received in 2007, according to data obtained by a Delhi-based
environmental group. The group filed a Right to Information
application with the Central Water Commission, a government body that
looks at the use of India's water resources.

The controversial project - a series of large and medium-sized dams
across the Narmada river, whose 1,312-km course runs through Madhya
Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat - is being built at a cost of Rs
45,000 crore, among the largest investments in an irrigation and power
project in India's history. The last of these dams on the river in
Gujarat, the Sardar Sarovar Dam, is meant to provide water to the
drought-prone areas of that state - Saurashtra, Kutch and north

The other states that benefit from the project are Maharashtra, Madhya
Pradesh and Rajasthan. "Our group wanted details about how much water
Gujarat had used in order to assess the project's benefits," said
Himanshu Thakkar, an IIT-trained engineer and water policy analyst at
the non-profit group South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People.

The project is meant to irrigate more than 20 lakh hectares of land
and generate 1,450 megawatts of power. But it will also displace about
50,000 families living along the river's banks, mainly in rural Madhya

This has caused bitter divisions between the project's supporters and
those who believe that the displaced are getting a raw deal. The
project has been contentious ever since the then Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone in a Gujarat village in

Data obtained by Thakkar's group shows that in 2007, a total of 19.91
billion cubic metres of the river's water passed through the dam's
power houses.

Of this, Gujarat used only 1.285 billion cubic metres - or under seven
per cent - for irrigation, industrial use, and supplies to cities and

Thakkar argued that Gujarat had utilised so little of the water
because it had still not completed its canal network, which must
traverse thousands of kilometres across towns and villages of central
and western Gujarat. "It is important that the ministry of water
resources and the state governments answer for the infructuous
investment in India's costliest irrigation project," he said.

Patel, chairman of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited, said his firm
was not accountable for the utilisation of water.

In 2007, Gujarat used only 7% Narmada dam water - Yahoo! India News