BJP-ruled Gujarat, MP lock horns over Narmada waters
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Gujarat opposes proposal to form experts' panel for determining method to share surplus water.
It is not just transfer of Asiatic lions that has become a bone of contention between BJP-ruled Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The two states are once again at loggerheads over sharing of surplus water from the Narmada river.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi's recent announcement of a Rs 10000-crore water supply project using the excess Narmada water for the seven districts of Saurashtra comes at a time when neighbouring Madhya Pradesh has raised serious objections over the rights of utilisable water of the Narmada basin.
The two states have registered complaints to the Narmada Control Authority (NCA), Central Water Commission (CWC) and other central agencies over the issue of "Determining methodology for assessment of utilisable flow in the Narmada basin" and allotment of water from the basin for a number of dams in MP and Gujarat (including the two biggest dams — Indira Sagar in MP and Sardar Sarovar in Gujarat).
The last time when an issue on shared volume of water was settled was on December 7, 1979. The issue was settled by the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) as per the provisions of the Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956.
A senior government official associated with NCA told The Indian Express, "The Madhya Pradesh government wants the calculation of the Narmada water flow on a new method. They have suggested to form a new technical committee of experts from the party states (MP, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan) while the Gujarat government, through a written submission to the NCA, has opposed the idea of reassessment of utilisable water. The Gujarat government has said that the water must be supplied on the basis of the NWDT order."
Sources said CWC and NCA have agreed in principle to form a technical committee as MP, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are ready to be part of it and have even nominated their representatives.
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