As Madhya Pradesh’s ambitious plan to transport Narmada water to the Malwa plateau takes shape, it demonstrates the futility of river-interlinking projects


MARCH 15 2015 downtoearth.org.in Aparna Pallavi


 

Just 50 kilometres away, residents of Aatwan village located in the Nimar plains of the Narmada river, are facing severe water crisis. The village is located in the command area of the Sislia reservoir but does not receive a drop from it. “Every day, the reservoir fills up and then, the water disappears,” says Deoram Narvare of Aatwan, staring ruefully into the nearly empty reservoir.

This reversal in water situation of the two places is the result of the Madhya Pradesh government’s ambitious Narmada-Malwa river-link project, the first river-linking project of the country. Under the project, the government plans to transport Narmada water to the arid Malwa region. This will be done by linking five rivers of the Malwa region—the Kshipra, Gambhir, Parvati, Kali Sindh and Khan—to various dams on the Narmada through canals and pipelines.

The government claims that together, these links would provide drinking water…continue reading

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