Palanpur: North Gujarat‘s Karmavad lake and Mukteshwar dam issue took an interesting turn on Sunday after 50,000 women wrote postcards to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to include the water bodies under the Narmada Command area.
The people in the Vadgam constituency have been agitating for the past few months after the water levels in the Karmavad lake and Mukteshwar dam dipped and now both are running dry. People have been demanding to fill both these water bodies with water from Narmada.
The water shortage in the area has become a major political issue with leaders bickering among themselves. Both reservoirs fall under the Vadgam Assembly constituency where Jignesh Mevani is the sitting MLA. He recently launched a slogan, “No water, No Vote” targeting the ruling party, as he alleged that the ruling party was depriving the area from Narmada water.
Calling it a political gimmick, BJP state unit president C.R. Patil stated that Mevani was raising the water issue because he has realised that he is going to lose the elections in December. Patil raised questions, whether Mevani was sleeping for four and half years and why he did not raise the issue earlier?
“This issue is not of the last two to three months, people of this area have been crying foul for the last 30 years. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi is well aware about the water shortage in the Vadgam area, as the issue was raised before him when he was the chief minister,” said Ramesh Patel, leader of Karmavad & Mukteshwar Jal Andolan Samiti.
He said, 50,000 women of 125 villages have written postcards to their brother Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reminding him about his promise, “If my sisters are in trouble and will write even postcards to me, I will address the issue.”
Patel, who is a farmer also, said that most of these villages are dependent on the Monsoon and still pastoralists contribute Rs 2,000 crore milk to the district cooperative every year. He said that if these two reservoirs are filled with Narmada water then the turnover can touch to Rs 10,000 crore.
The government is calculating water lifting costs from the Narmada canal. Patel’s rough estimate is that even if Rs 500 crore is to be invested for water lifting to fill these reservoirs, the state can in one year recover it, because underground water level will increase, agriculture will flourish, demands of tractors, diesel will increase, the state will earn good from taxes, is the farmer leader’s conservative estimate.