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Prime Minister inaugurates Narmada canal

  • Published
    29th Aug, 2022
Context

Recently, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has led the foundation stone and inaugurated the Narmada canal that will bring water to Kutch from the Narmada Sarovar dam in south Gujarat.

There he also inaugurated a memorial in the memory of the thousands of victims of the 2001 earthquake that devastated Kutch. 

Background
  • After the earthquake, the Gujarat government had focused on the Kutch district, which was then known as “very backward” but the government’s efforts led to massive industrial development across the district. 
  • After several instances of disasters in Gujarat, it became the first State in the country to enact a Disaster Management Act which was replicated nationally.
  • In way of development in the Kutch region and water scare region, the growth and irrigation models are now built. Narmada canal is one among this initiative of the State government.

Need of the initiative

  • To focus on Agriculture: In recent years, Kutch has focused on agriculture and has emerged as the State’s largest region for horticulture, and with the Narmada’s water reaching in the district, farmers could benefit by growing fruits and vegetables.
  • Expanding dairying industry: Kutch holds India’s one of the first commercial milk production brands. Hence, water supplies will increase feedstock production and animal rearing plants.

About Narmada River:

  • The Narmada, the largest Westward flowing river, rises near the Amarkantak range of mountains in Madhya Pradesh.
  • It is the fifth largest river in the country and the largest one in Gujarat.
  • It traverses Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat and meets the Gulf of Cambay.  
  • The total length of the river from source to sea is 1312 kilometres (815 miles).

Narmada canal and branches

  • This project will cover Saurashtra, Kachchh as well as parts of North Gujarat (Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, and Panchmahal).

Sardar Sarovar Project:

  • The Sardar Sarovar Project is one of the largest water resources projects of India covering four major states – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat and Rajasthan.
  • The dam’s spillway discharging capacity (30.7 lakhs cusecs) would be the third highest in the world.
  • The Narmada Main Canal would be the largest irrigation canal in the world.

Why Kutch is strategic for Gujarat?

  • Kutch had the largest cement plants in the world.
  • It stood second in the world in welding pipe manufacturing
  • Also holding world’s second largest textile plant and it also houses Asia’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Mundra.
  • Kandla and Mundra ports handle 30% of India’s cargo, and the district produces 30% of the country’s salt.
  • Kutch produces 2,500 MW of power from solar and wind energy.

Issues in the Project

  • Unequal distribution of water into villages
  • Unreliability to supply
  • Seasonal variations
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