Gujarat gets NCA approval to raise height of Narmada Dam
The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has given nod to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam by 17 metres to 138.62 metres, which, on its completion, would allow Gujarat to get three times more water for irrigation. The new height would make it the second highest dam in the world after Grand Coulee in the US.
A higher dam will improve the efficiency of hydro-power generation and water supply capacity of this project, and is likely to benefit not just Gujarat but also adjacent states of Rajashthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Gujarat has been waiting for this decision for last 8 years.
Activist Medha Patkar, who drew attention to the dislocation of thousands of people as a result of this move, is protesting the decision and has called the move undemocratic.
As per Patkar, the dam with its current height has 2 lakh people in its affected region. If the height is increased by 17 metres, the thickly populated villages in Nimad area of Madhya Pradesh with houses, farms, shops, temples, mosques and standing crops would be submerged. The centre will allow Gujarat to raise the height of the dam from existing 121.91m to 138.7m
Benefits of Project:
- Irrigation water to 1.8 million hectares to benefit one million farmers.
- Drinking water for 9,633 villages and 131 towns
Who gets what:
- WATER: Rajasthan (1.79%), Maharashtra (0.89%), Gujarat (32.14%), Madhya Pradesh (65.18%)
- POWER: Maharashtra (27%), Gujarat (16%), Madhya Pradesh (57%)