Par Tapi Narmada River-Linking Project- UPSC Current Affairs

PAR TAPI NARMADA RIVER-LINKING PROJECT

Today’s series of Current Affairs Dialog box will comprise a discussion on Par Tapi Narmada River-Linking Project and its relevance from UPSC exam preparation.

For Prelims: Tapi-Par-Narmada Link Project, Ken-Betwa.

For Mains: Inter-Linking of Rivers Programme and related challenges, Water Resources.

Why in the News?

Recently, the tribals in Gujarat have protested in Valsad district against the Centre’s Par Tapi Narmada river-linking project.

Probable Question

River interlinking is the best path ahead for water management in India. Comment

Key Points

Background

  • Par-Tapi-Narmada river-linking project had been sanctioned in 2010, when a tripartite agreement was signed between the Union Government, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project was prepared by the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) in 2015.
  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech (2022-23) said that Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada river-linking projects would be a major development for Gujarat.
Narmada

Image Source: Indian Express

What is the Par Tapi Narmada River Link Project?

  • The Par-Tapi-Narmada link project was envisioned under the 1980 National Perspective Plan under the former Union Ministry of Irrigation and the Central Water Commission (CWC).
  • The project proposes to transfer river water from the surplus regions of the Western Ghats to the deficit regions of Saurashtra and Kutch. 
  • It proposes to link three rivers:
    • Par river: Originate from Nashik in Maharashtra and flows through Valsad.
    • Tapi: Originate from Saputara that flows through Maharashtra and Surat in Gujarat.
    • Narmada: Originates in Madhya Pradesh and flows through Maharashtra and Bharuch and Narmada districts in Gujarat.
  • The link mainly includes: 
    • The construction of seven dams (Jheri, Mohankavchali, Paikhed, Chasmandva, Chikkar, Dabdar and Kelwan)
      • Out of seven dams, Jheri dam falls in Nashik and the remaining dams are in Valsad and Dang districts of South Gujarat.
    • Three diversion weirs (Paikhed, Chasmandva, and Chikkar dams), 
    • Two tunnels (5.0 kilometers and 0.5 kilometers length), 
    • The 395-kilometre-long canal (205 kilometre in Par-Tapi portion including the length of feeder canals and 190 km in Tapi-Narmada portion), and 
    • Six powerhouses.

Also read: The Indus Water Treaty

Significance of Par-Tapi-Narmada Link Project

  • Irrigation: During the monsoon season, the excess water which flows into the sea would be diverted to Saurashtra and Kutch for irrigation.
    • Presently, the Saurashtra region gets water from the Sardar Sarovar dam, which will be saved and used for other purposes.
  • Prevents Flood: This will also help in containing regular flood-like situations in the rivers in Valsad, Navsari, Surat and Bharuch.
  • Hydropower Generation: Besides providing irrigation benefits, the link will generate hydropower of the order of 93.00 Mkwh through the powerhouses installed at four dam sites.

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Challenges

  • Submergence: According to a report by the NWDA, about 6065 ha of the land area will be submerged due to the proposed reservoirs. This will affect a total of 61 villages of which one will be fully submerged and the remaining 60 partly. 
    • The affected families may lose their lands or houses or both in the submergence when the reservoirs are created.
  • Fear of Tribal displacement: The districts where the project will be implemented are largely dominated, by tribals who fear displacement.
Narmada

Image Source: Down to Earth

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