The Narmada-Shipra link is bringing abundant water to the dry areas of Madhya Pradesh

2nd May 2016
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People in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, are benefitting from the Narmada-Shipra link that has been set into operation to ensure adequate water in Shipra river during the month-long Kumbh Mela in Ujjain. Every summer, Dewas town and neighbouring industrial areas suffer from acute water shortage as tube-wells run dry and the water supply from a project build on build-operate- transfer (BOT) model, fails to meet the demand.

Image : (L) - The Times of India; (R) - Down to Earth
Image : (L) – The Times of India; (R) – Down to Earth

In a report by Hindustan Times, this year, however, the situation is different. “There is no water scarcity in Dewas, both in the industrial and residential areas, this summer. With water filled to the brim in Shipra Dam, about 8 km from Dewas, the water table in the region has gone up and most tube-wells have been recharged,” said Dewas industry association president Ashok Khandelia. “The piped supply is also about 3.5 MLD (million litres a day) and the rest of the demand is met through tube-wells. As a result, the industry is not depending on water tankers to meet its need,” he added.

Before the Narmada-Shipra Link project became operational, water level in Shipra dam used to recede to about 8m by March end, while at present, Shipra dam is filled to its full capacity of 14m. Dewas is home to multinational corporations, including Tata International, Gabriel, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles and John Deere. Dewas also has a concentration of soya processing plants and also boasts of several auto ancillary units.

The first BOT water supply project in India was set up on the Narmada River at Nemawar and water was ferried from more than 90km, has been plagued by technical glitches. Instead of 30 MLD (million litres per day) of water, the project is able to supply only about 5 MLD.

The state cabinet has approved a project to build a pipeline for Dewas from Narmada-Shipra project. The project, with a capacity to supply 30 MLD, is expected to become operational in a year’s time. Officials associated with the Narmada-Shipra link project say that supplying water to Dewas industry from this project will be much economical as compared to increasing the capacity of Nemawar project.

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