Over 131 hectares of land in 14 villages on the banks of the river Narmada will be acquired by the Gujarat government for the Rs 5,300-crore Bhadbhut barrage project in Bharuch district.
The land acquisition is specifically meant to build flood protection embankments on both sides of the river near Bharuch. These embankments will begin from the Bhadbhut reservoir which will be located just 25 km away from the mouth of river Narmada and will be built upstream, official sources said. “A total of 131.53 hectares will be acquired for the project. Most of these land parcels belong to 377 farmers in 14 villages,” a senior official of the Kalpasar department told The Indian Express requesting anonymity.
An official notification in this regard was published a couple of weeks ago. “The embankments will be several kilometres long and will protect both the banks,” the official added. The right bank flood protection embankment that will fall on side of Bharuch city will be 14 km long and will have an average height of four metres. The left bank flood protection embankment, falling on the Ankleshwar side, will be 27 km long with an average height of eight metres. Both these embankments will run upstream from the barrage to the Golden Bridge.
“When Sardar Sarovar dam overflows during monsoon, the area of 13 villages on the right bank of Bharuch and Vagra talukas gets submerged. Similarly, large scale soil erosion also takes place during the floods which also inundates 14 villages on left bank of Ankleshwar and Hansot talukas of the district. These embankments will help save the banks in the future,” the official added.
Though local villagers have not protested so far against the land acquisition, local fishermen said they have been protesting against the barrage project for long. “Now that the government has started implementation of the project, the fishermen community will be getting together to review their demands before the government which includes jobs for the youth in families affected by the project,” said Kamlesh Madhiwala, president of Samast Bharuch Machimar Samiti.
On August 2020, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had launched the construction of the Bhadbhut barrage project, which involves building a 1.7 km causeway-cum-weir barrage with 90 gates across the Narmada river near Bharuch city. This barrage will create a sweet water lake of 600 million cubic metres on the river. A joint venture of Dilip Buildcon Ltd and Hindustan Construction Company has been awarded the project.
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