Centre-Maha to soon discuss river interlinking project
Mumbai : Maharashtra Water Resources minister Girish Mahajan today said a high-level meeting will be held soon in the metropolis to discuss and resolve issues plaguing the Nar-Par-Tapi-Narmada river-linking project.
Mahajan, who attended the eighth meeting of the Special Committee for interlinking of rivers in Delhi on Monday also said that in the meeting, he stressed that excess water from the Nar-Par-Tapi-Narmada basin must not be allowed to go to Gujarat.
Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Uma Bharti had chaired the meeting.
“In the meeting, we discussed the hurdles in the water inter-linking project, which will pass through various states,” he said.
“We have a dispute with Gujarat over the share of water from the Nar-Par-Tapi-Narmada basin. We do not want to let water of our share go to the neighbouring state,” he said.
He added that though Maharashtra is possessive over its share of water, it is not possible to lift water from the basin at a height of 600 to 800 meter and divert it in some other part of the state.
“The scheme is not viable and impossible to implement. Hence, instead, we are demanding an equal share of water from Tapi river to Maharashtra from Gujarat. But, Gujarat is opposing the solution. This was raised in the meeting and Uma Bharti intervened in the issue,” he said.
He further said that according to her instructions, a high level meeting will be held in Mumbai.
“It was decided to meet on February 16, but it may be changed by a day or two as Uma Bharti has called a meeting in Bhopal on the same day. Union Secretaries along with officials from state water resource department will attend the meeting,” he said.
The proposed Par-Tapi-Narmada river interlinking project, aimed at diverting “surplus” water from parts of west flowing rivers like Par, Nar, Ambika and Auranga basins in Maharashtra, is all set to become a major cause of conflict between Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Maharashtra has made it clear to Gujarat that it does not have “any water to spare”.
Meanwhile, the Tapi Irrigation Development Corporation (TIDC) of Maharashtra has come up with a detailed plan consisting of 22 dams to transfer all the surplus water from the four west-flowing basins into eastern Maharashtra, leaving no water for diversion onto Gujarat.
According to an official from water resource department, the region to be covered by transferring waters from the two river-link projects, will be around 95,760 hectares, of which 53,626 hectares will be in Nashik, 38,304 hectares in Jalgaon and 3,830 hectares in Aurangabad district of Godavari Basin.