The last major rehabilitation hurdle in increasing the height of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam from present 121 metres to 138 metres is likely to be crossed soon. For,the state government has completed the process of acquiring 400 hectors land in Nijar taluka of Tapi district for rehabilitating around 400 dam affected families along the Maharashtra border.
Despite getting the environment clearance two years ago,the government is not getting permission to increase the height because there are around 400 families in Maharashtra who will be affected by the project.
The Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) Committee of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has asked to resolve the issue of these families to get the final clearance for increasing the dam height.
S Jagdeesan,Managing Director,Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL),told The Indian Express,The government has acquired around 200 hectors land for the rehabilitation of the families to be displaced from Maharashtra. The process to acquire another 200 hectors non-tribal private land is likely to end in the next two months. And soon after that,we expect to start the rehabilitation of these families. Each family will be given one hector land and other facilities in Nijar taluka. The acquisition will cost the government around Rs 20 crore.
We have also kept open the earlier compensation offer of Rs 10 lakh to those families who do not want to resettle in Gujarat, he said,adding,after that they are expected to get the final clearance to raise the dam height to 138 metres. Then we will be able to give water to all the planned (18 lakh hector) command area.
Jagdeesan said it would take nearly three years to increase the dams height to 138 metres.
The other major challenge before the government is the completion of the canal network.
According to government figures,construction of around 5,49,889 km canal network is yet to be done.
The government has allocated Rs 9,000 crore for the project in this years state budget.