What Is India News Service
Thursday, November 08, 2007


The Narmada valley project was mired in controversy and dispute right from its inception.  In 1965, the Khosla committee planned a 530 feet high dam in Navagam (the site of the Sardar Sarovar dam today) while allocating 13.9 MAF (million acre feet) of water to MP and 10.6 MAF to Gujarat.  This proposal was immediately locked in a dispute between the so-called riparian states i.e. Gujarat, Maharashtra and MP over the sharing of the costs and benefits of the project.  The chief minister of MP, Mr. Govind Narayan Singh, objected to the unprecedented submergence as a result of the dam and contested the claims of Gujarat on the Narmada waters.  Gujarat on the other hand claimed a higher share of water on the basis of the projected needs of the "drought prone area" in the far-off Kutch region.  In this effort, Gujarat also made Rajasthan a party to give itself more bargaining power, although Rajasthan - a non-riparian state - had nothing to do with the project. 

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• Sardar Sarovar Dam


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In 1969, the Government of India under Mrs. Indira Gandhi constituted the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) to resolve this inter-state water dispute.  The Tribunal itself was subjected to a series of wrangling between Gujarat and MP.  While MP proposed a dam height 210 feet, Gujarat demanded that the height of the dam be 530 feet.  While Gujarat put its water requirement at 22 MAF, MP would concede only 4 MAF.  Finally in 1979, after 10 years of deliberations, the Tribunal gave its award, which consisted of clear compromises between the claims of Gujarat and MP.  Accordingly they allocated 9 MAF of water to Gujarat, and arrived at the 453 feet for the height of the dam.  Subsequently, 2 extra feet were added to the dam height for completely unknown reasons to bring the height to round figure of 455 feet. After a token show of resistance, the main political formations in MP accepted the award.

The full contours of the Narmada Valley Development Plan (NVDP) appeared only towards the late 1980s. It is an ambitious plan, which envisages the building of 30 big dams, 135 medium dams and 3000 small dams on the Narmada & its tributaries. If all of these dams ever get built then the river, as we know it will disappear and all that will be left are a series of lakes.


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Prime Minister's abiding image is that of a leader with no strength or fixed ideology - jettisoning economic reforms one day and embracing land reforms another (Pm Dons Left Avatar , Pioneer, Anuradha Dutt, Nov 02, 2007)

The editorial, "Dr Hollow Cause" (October 20) raises objection to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks on the Gujarat 'genocide' (2002) and challenges him to "repeat the word Holocaust" during election meetings in Gujarat. (It Was Genocide, Pioneer, N Jamal Ansari, Oct 25, 2007)

Tradition, pageantry and pomp marked the grand finale of the nadahabba, the Jamboo Savari, in the city on Sunday. The procession began after the governor, his wife, Narmada Thakur, scion of the Mysore royal family, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar... (Grandeur Marks Jamboo Savari, Deccan Herald, Correspondent or Reporter, Oct 23, 2007)

Narendra Damodardas Modi appears to dominate Gujarat, election-bound now, like no other political leader dominates his immediate constituency. (Riots+economic Growth=?, Indian Express, Correspondent or Reporter, Oct 15, 2007)

When India enacted the Biological Diversity Act in 2002, it made it mandatory for all foreign entities (individual, corporate, organisation or individual) to seek the permission of the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) before . . . . (Who Decides On Bio-Security?, Business Line, Kanchi Kohli , Oct 10, 2007)

Two Members of Parliament from Gujarat have urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to order an inquiry into the shocking evidence suggesting Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar tried to influence the Government and the . . . . . . . (Probe Medha's Foreign Links, Mps Urge Pm , Hindustan Times, Navin Upadhyay, Oct 10, 2007)

This essay is an exercise in speculation. Such an act is necessary because sometimes one needs to dream beyond the empirical because an empiricist view of politics is often limiting. (Mayawati In Modiland, Indian Express, SHIV VISVANATHAN, Oct 06, 2007)

Is there any authoritative, scientific evidence to prove that Ram Setu is a natural formation? According to Mr T Satyamurthy, who recently retired as Superintending Archaeologist, having worked with Archaeological Survey of India since . . . . (Logic Does Not Defy Ram Setu, Pioneer, Priyadarsi Dutta, Oct 06, 2007)

The Supreme Court observed: “Well, if he is determined to feign that he would not look at any one of those materials as well as the final decision rendered by the President of India regarding the age of Dr Justice AS Anand, and then . . . . .. (The Midday Judgment~ii, Statesman, Correspondent or Reporter, Oct 01, 2007)

Rejecting the Bharatiya Janata Party’s objections to the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T.R. Baalu on Tuesday traced the steps taken by the former National Democratic Alliance government. (Baalu Defends Sethu Project, Hindu, Correspondent or Reporter, Sep 19, 2007)

The now withdrawn affidavit of the Union government on “Ramar Sethu,” earlier submitted to the Supreme Court, was not the result of an inadvertent mistake, but was a “deliberate and conscious” act. (Affidavit Not An Inadvertent Mistake, Says Bjp Leader, Hindu, NEENA VYAS , Sep 18, 2007)

Unfazed by the controversy over the Setusamudram project, government would soon approach the Supreme Court to obtain "appropriate orders" so that work in Adam's Bridge continues, Shipping Minister T R Baalu said on Monday night. (Sethu: Govt To Seek Relief From Sc, New Indian Express, Correspondent or Reporter, Sep 18, 2007)

A rare insight into the arguments going on in China about how to achieve sustainable development. (Green Gdp In China: Lessons To Be Learnt , Deccan Herald, Editorial, The Deccan Herald, Sep 14, 2007)

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Right through the unending onslaught of historical and political vicissitudes the country faced in the last few centuries, its state of arts has remained unfazed, weathering their inexorable deleterious consequences. (In All Art Forms, Karnataka Offers A Mini India! , Deccan Herald, Editorial, The Deccan Herald, Aug 16, 2007)

Rajasthan has plans to bring in the Narmada in order to overcome a severe water crisis plaguing the state, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced on Wednesday. (Rajasthan To Get Narmada: Raje, Singapore Times, Correspondent or Reporter, Aug 16, 2007)

In the 21st century world, water is the most contentious of elements, its ownership more disputed than land and space. (Talking Water On Pages, Hindustan Times, Correspondent or Reporter, Aug 14, 2007)

'India After Gandhi' chronicles a vast amount of history and bolsters it with massive research. (History Within Its Covers , Deccan Herald, T C NARAYAN, Aug 13, 2007)


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