Showing posts from April, 2012

Narmada: Gujarat’s Lifeline or Waterloo?

By Rajiv Shah
This bit of prediction by a key government official, who has been associated with Gujarat’s powerful Narmada establishment, struck me. The prediction concerned what is supposed to be the lifeline of Gujarat. This official said, there is “enough possibility” that chief minister Narendra Modi will use Narmada to win the forthcoming Gujarat state assembly elections scheduled for December, may be successfully.
Dishing out figures, he said, thanks to good rainfall, the total “utilizable flow of Narmada water for Gujarat” this year would be 12 million acre feet (MAF) of water, as against 7 MAF a year ago. So far, 5 MAF has been used, and another 7 MAF will be available till June, or the onset of monsoon, which the farmers can easily use at will. This is equal to the total availability of Narmada waters last year, 7 MAF. The plus side for Modi is, the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL), responsible to supply water to the farmers, as of today is not allowed to charge a pen…