Politics of Water in Peethampur

“The collector ordered to secure water of Sanjay pond only as drinking water with help of police.”

— A really disturbing statement by Dhar district collector Jayshree Kiyawat in a meeting with local industrialists and officers of the Peethampur Industrial Area, in Madhya Pradesh, a part of the DMIC.

AKNV (Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam) officers informed that during the Global Industrial Meet held in year 2012 total 54 MOUs worth from Rs one crore to Rs 25 crore were signed and 11 MOUs, worth more than Rs 25 crores were signed for Peethampur industrial area. Peethampur Industrial area hosts 68 medium and large level industries and around 1500 micro and small class units.

Narmada-Kshipra link project was also discussed in the meeting. Narmada is near Dhar, and Khsipra flows through Ujjain. Both these areas are part of the larger DMIC.

According to a report, seers are questioning the spiritual inclination of BJP while they claim loyalty to Hindutva.

Mahamandaleshwar Namdeodas, popularly known as Computer Baba, said, “The BJP, which claims to be the protector of Hindu faith, has committed a grave sin by linking the virgin Narmada with a married Kshipra – against tenets of the scriptures.”
At Ujjaini, the seers took a vow not to take part in 2016 Simshastha – which is held every 12 years on the banks of Kshipra at Ujjain. They say that with the Narmada water gushing into Kshipra river and reaching Ujjain, some 100 km from the place of confluence, there was no point in taking the dip.

The project involves pumping of around 5000 litres of Narmada water per second from a small Sisalia tank through 47 km long pipeline involving four stage pumping and releasing in the bed of dry Kshipra River.

Some contend that this project can neither be called river-linking, nor is it the first river-linking project of India as claimed by Madhya Pradesh government just ahead of polls.
According to official tall claims, the project is meant to provide drinking water to Dewas and Ujjain cities, over 250 villages along Kshipra river, supply water to Ujjain, Dewas and Peethampur and also recharge groundwater!

On the other hand, agreements have already been signed with Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor for providing 90 MLD (or 25% of the 362 MLD water to be pumped in this scheme) water from this project to Peethampur industrial area in Malwa at the rate of Rs 26 per KL.

Another controversy is the cost of the project. According to the administrative approval for the project dated Oct 19, 2012, the cost of the project will be taken from Omkareshwar Project Unit II (Canals).
There has been no social or environmental impact assessment for this project at any stage. The project also escaped need for environmental clearance using the loophole (which has been questioned for years now) that drinking water projects do not need environmental clearances and hence environmental or social impact assessment or management plans or monitoring or public consultations.

*The mash-up prepared from the following reports,

 

  1. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/unhappy-over-river-narmada-kshipra-linking-seers-plan-nation-wide-stir/1/359973.html
  2. http://freepressjournal.in/collector-reviews-global-investors-meet-preparations/

 

 

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