Government has no clue about 50% of Narmada canal water – RTI reply
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Gujarat government does not have any record about the whereabouts of around 50% of water released from the main Narmada canal.
The reply to the application, provided by the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL), states that 8,469.72 million cubic meters or (6.86 million acre feet) water was released from the main canal in 2012-13. Out of this, 3,302.29 mcm (2.69 MAF) was given for agriculture while 1,624.25 mcm (1.31 MAF) was given to Gujarat Water Supply and Sewage Board, Sujlam Suflam Canal, water resources department, other cities for drinking purpose, industries, etc.
However, the SSNNL could not account for the remaining 3543.18 mcm (2.86 MAF) of released water. The authority does not have any explanation as to where the water had been diverted. The reply also suggests that the volume of unaccounted water has been increasing. It has reached the present level from the 536.61 mcm (0.44 MAF) of missing water in 2008-09. SSNNL officials blame farmers for water theft but other sources allege that a politician-bureaucrat-farmer nexus might be responsible for diverting water for industrial purposes.