Governor Nawal Kishore Sharma,in his address to the Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday,claimed that the government had,till November 2008,invested Rs 26,985 crore in the Sardar Sarovar Dam project. Now,he said,the government is planning to implement the Kalpasar water project on the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
The Governor was forced to cut short his address after the Opposition Congress members created a ruckus in the House. Nevertheless,copies of the book containing his address were distributed among the media that was covering the session.
In his address,the Governor said the government plans to complete the schematic bankable report of the Kalpasar project in 2010-11 and advance it as public-private partnership. It is also planned to appoint a project management and design consultant to get the services of expert international companies for this project.
The Governor said with the Sardar Sarovar Dam height reaching 121.92 metres,a total storage of 5,700 crore cubic feet of water has been made available for irrigation,drinking,industries and generation of hydro electricity. Installed power capacity of 1,450 MW has been achieved,and a total of 1,220 crore units of electricity were generated by riverbed power houses till December 2008,which yielded an income of Rs 4,880 crore to the nation. Construction work on the project canals stretching up to a length of 18,733 km has been completed.
Sharma was,however,oblivious to the fact that the government had recently decided to suspend riverbed power generation at the Narmada dam site in order to “divert water for irrigation and drinking water purposes in view of the impending summer”.
Sources in the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) revealed that poor command area management has led to the irrigation of merely 87,000 hectares of land,as against the potential of 9 lakh hectares at the current dam height. Work on further raising the dam height has come to a standstill,for the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has been refusing to give its nod for the same due to the failure of the beneficiary states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra to rehabilitate project affected families (PAFs) in their respective areas.