Activists raise eyebrows on viability of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Narmada-Kshipra project

Narmada River

Days after the ruling-BJP government in Madhya Pradesh took up former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's ambitious scheme of linking state's lifeline Narmada River with Kshipra, activists have raised questions over its viability.

Launched last month by BJP leader L K Advani at Kshipra Tekri, about 22 kms from Indore near Ujjaini village, the project will be implemented at a cost of Rs 432 crore under which water from Narmada will be pumped into Kshipra River at its origin at Kshipra Tekri.

Social worker Medha Patkar said though she had not studied the project in detail, internationally such projects were not considered viable.

"Inter-linking of river basin is considered wrong internationally while intra-linking of a river basin is a viable option," Medha said.

The government should first consider the claim of those residing in the periphery of Narmada River as a number of places including Manawar in Dhar district, situated near the river, have faced drought situation sometime back.

Narmada Samagra, an NGO headed by BJP MP Anil Dave, said as per the Narmada Accord between Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, the former has to use its quota of allocated water by 2025.

"If it will not use the allocated quota of water from river Narmada by 2025, then it will not be able to do so later," Dave said.

In view of that, it is necessary for the government to launch such schemes, Dave said.

However, as far as viability of the scheme is concerned it is altogether a separate issue, he said, adding that he would not like to comment on it now as he was indisposed for a long time.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced at the launch of the project that a grand temple of 'Maa' Narmada and Kshipra will also be built at the originating point of Kshipra River.

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