Prime Minister Inaugurates Bhadbhut Barrage in Gujarat Despite Opposition by Fisherfolk

Reported by

Aditi Patil

Published on

December 4, 2016

December 4, 2016

Updated on

December 4, 2016

Location of Conflict

Badbhut

Bharuch

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Irrigation Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

30000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

200000

ha

Starting Year

2010

State

Gujarat

Sector

Infrastructure

In 2011, the Gujarat government decided to construct a barrage on the Narmada river near Bhadbhut village in Bharuch district, as part of the Kalpasar project. The project is supposed to be one of the biggest in the world as it proposes to construct a 30kilometrelong dam across the Gulf of Khambhat between Bharuch and Bhavnagar districts. The reservoir is supposed to trap the water of 12 rivers, including Narmada, Mahi, Sabarmati, Dhadar and some Saurashtra rivers that empty their water in the gulf. The project is expected to have a reservoir spread across 2,000 square kilometres, over five times the area of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The barrage is aimed at curbing the salinity ingress that has affected potable water sources and local industries. However, some fisherfolks have protested against the Bhadbhut barrage, fearing it would affect their fishing activity. In the estuary between Narmada near Bhadbhut where sweet and saline water meet, large quantity of Hilsa and Palwa fish are found. If the barrage or causeway is constructed, fishing will be severely affected, they claim. On July 19, 2014, about 1,500 farmers and fisherfolks attended the public hearing on the construction of a kilometrelong weircumcauseway. They walked out of the hearing, protesting. The causeway still awaits environmental clearance. About 4,000 fisherfolk also organised a protest rally at the district magistrate's office. According to a local source, the Hilsa fish arrive during monsoon as the river stretch of 130 kilometres holds rain water. If the barrage is built, there will be no freeflowing river stretch to support fish breeding. The barrage approach is 7.29 kilometres long. The affected area is a floodplain that the fisherfolks use to access water for fishing. This area would be diverted to the barrage through a boxtype central drainage structure. Th officials claim that Hilsa fish can jump to the other side of the dam and survive but the fisherfolk contend that the Hilsa variety cannot jump. They also argue that while Salmon can jump, it can only only breed in brackish water and not the sweet water that will be collected by the barrage. On October 8, 2017, the prime minister inaugurated the Bhadbhut barrage. During the inauguration ceremony, fisherfolk protested with black flags even as the prime minister urged them to form cooperatives and buy boats under the scheme. Protesters were detained along with the women of the families. In August 2020, the state government awarded the contract for the barrage to a joint venture between Dilip Buildcon Limited and Hindustan Construction Company Limited. In September 2020, the state government issued a notification to acquire 131 hectares of land from 14 villages on the banks of the Narmada. The villagers have not protested but the fisherfolk continue to.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Opposition against environmental degradation

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

5300

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Environmental Laws, Land Acquisition Laws, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Schedule I, Item 1(c): [River valley projects over <100 square kilometres is a Category B project]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 11: [Publication of the preliminary notification regarding land acquisition]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 3: [Part IX of the Constitution is extended to Scheduled Areas]; Section 4(e)(i): [The Gram Sabha shall approve all plans relating to socio-economic development]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Violation of environmental laws

Violation of free prior informed consent

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Arrest/detention/imprisonment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

Protesters were detained along with the women of the families during the inauguration of the barrage by the prime minister.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Narmada Water Resources, Water Supply and Kalpsar Department, Inland Waterways Authority of India

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Dilip Buildcon Limited, Hindustan Construction Company Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Paryavaran Mitra

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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