clears building of hump on Narmada dam
Express News Service
Gandhinagar, May 18:
The Gujarat government has finally received a legal opinion in its
favour from the Attorney General of India to construct a three-metre
hump over the 90-metre Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam, putting to rest
speculations over the contentious issue.
Hailing the legal opinion
in the government’s favour, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Chairman
Bhupendrasinh Chudasma told The Indian Express from Kevadia on Thursday
night that work on constructing the hump would begin immediately
after the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) completed the process
of eliciting comments on it from the participating states over the
next three days.
Chudasma said the NCA
chairman would seek comments through fax messages from the beneficiary
states on the construction of the hump, and the process to be completed
in three days. Queried, the Narmada Nigam Chairman said: ‘‘It is
immaterial whether the Madhya Pradesh government offers its comments
against the hump, for the process of seeking the comments by the
NCA is a mere formality.’’
Responding to another
query, Chudasma said the NCA need not convene a meeting to decide
on allowing the Gujarat government to construct the hump, as the
comments of the participating states would be sought through fax.
Chudasma is camping at the dam site to ensure that the work on the
hump begins as soon as the NCA completes this process.
The construction of a three-metre
hump over the Narmada dam is considered a technical requirement
to avoid any damage to the dam structure during a possible flooding
of the Narmada river in the ensuing monsoon. ‘‘With the legal opinion
coming in our favour, we will complete the construction work on
the hump in one month,’’ asserted Chudasma.
Delay in getting the legal
opinion in favour of constructing the hump had caused a great deal
of anxiety not only in the corridors of power in Gandhinagar, but
also among the pro-dam organisations active in the state.
The controversy over the
issue was triggered when the Madhya Pradesh, at the NCA meeting
on May 4, had opposed the construction of the hump, arguing that
it was not a technical requirement. This compelled the NCA chief
Babubhai Navlavala to seek a legal opinion of the Attorney General
of India on the issue.