Maharashtra, Gujarat likely to ink river linking pact in April

AM JIGEESH New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

Sharing waters: A view of the Narmada river in Ahmedabad. The National Water Development Agency will submit a detailed project report on the Par-Tapi-Narmada link to both the Governments in April.

Damanganga-Pinjal project to address Mumbai’s water needs for 60 years

Maharashtra and Gujarat are likely to sign a memorandum of understanding on two interlinking projects – Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada – in April.

While the Maharashtra Government was ready to sign the Damanganga-Pinjal link, it is learnt that the Gujarat Government had insisted on signing both the deals together. The key issue between the two States was sharing of water.

There is controversy in Maharashtra over the implementation of Par-Tapi-Narmada link. Several Opposition leaders had earlier alleged that both the projects have been designed to favour Gujarat.

The draft MoU prepared by the Water Resources Ministry, a copy of which is with BusinessLine, says the Damanganga-Pinjal project will address the water needs of Mumbai for about 60 years. “The water shall be shared on proportionate catchment area basis duly accounting for the variation in the catchment rainfall,” the draft says.

The Gujarat Government has asked for the detailed project of Narmada-Tapi-Par link. The Union Water Resources Ministry has sent the MoU on the Damanganga-Pinjal project to both the State Governments.

“We have agreed in principle for the implementation of Damanganga-Pinjal link. But, the details of the Par-Tapi-Narmada link were not made available to us. The Government will have to make public the details of Par-Tapi-Narmada link,” said former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

The ruling alliance in Maharashtra, however, has welcomed the developments. The National Water Development Agency will submit a detailed project report on the Par-Tapi-Narmada link to both the Governments in April. The Centre hopes that the MoU of both the projects could be signed in April.

“These two projects have to be viewed together. There is an approach of give and take between the two State Governments, which is positive,” NWDA Secretary General Masood Husain said.

The Damanganga-Pinjal project envisages construction of a dam across Damanganga in Bhugad village, Maharashtra, and another dam at Khargihil across river Vagh, a tributary of Damanganga. The total water supply from Damanganga-Pinjal link and Pinjal project will be 2,451 million litres per day.

While Gujarat can use the power from Bhugad, Maharashtra will benefit from Khargihil project. The estimated cost for the project is ₹2,746.61 crore.

Published on January 26, 2015

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