All along the course of the Narmda river, starting with its origin at Narmadakhund at Amarkantak
hill largest Shiva temples in India are located. The famous temples of Lord Sjiva on narmada river
are the Amarkantak or Teerathraj, Omkareshwar, Maheshwar, Sulpaneswar, Narmdeswar, Khumbeswar, Hanumanteswar,
Sukrewsar, Mandveswar, Dasameswar, Kubereswar, Vaysewar, Adeteswar, Hayeswar and Chamundikund – all named after Shiva.
Other famous temples are Chausath Yogini (sixty four
yoginis) temple, Chaubis Avatar temple, Bhojpur Shiva temple and Bhrigu Rishi temple in Bharuch.
There are many fables about the origin of the Narmada. According to one of them, once Lord Shiva, the Destroyer of the Universe, meditated so hard that he
started perspiring. Shiva’s sweat accumulated in a tank and started flowing in the form of a river – the Narmada.
The villagers from Ghogalgaon, Kewla Buzurg, Aikhand and Kamankhera affected by the Omkareshwar Dam project were on a 'jal satyagraha (watery Agitatation)' inside a pond in
Ghogalgaon for the last 17 days protesting rising of water level in the dam and land for rehabilitation. They withdrawn their protest on September 10, 2012 on accepting their demands by Government.
The Madhya Pradesh government on September 10, 2012 conceded to the demands of the people affected by the Omkareshwar
Dam along Narmada River by announcing a reduction in the water level in
the dam and rehabilitation in the form of land to the villagers displaced by the project. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan made
the announcement to maintain water level in the dam at 189 meters after meeting representatives of the protestors at his residence here.
Chouhan announced that he was ready to give land for land but with a
condition that the land would be given only to the farmers affected by the project after they surrender 50% compensation amount already paid to
them. This will be ensured within 90 days, he said. There are about 2500 project affected families of the 520 MW Omkareshwer
Hydel Power project built on river Narmada near village Mandhata of Khandwa district in western part of the state about 350 kms away from Bhopal .
The valleys of River Narmada are very important for the economically development of the region.
There are various handicraft works and other small-scale industries along the Narmada.
The dams on Narmada river benefits include provision drinking water, power generation and irrigation facilities. The Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT)
final order determined the utilizable quantum of Narmada waters to be 27,000,000 acre feet (3.3×1010 m3) at 75% dependability and allocated it to the four states as
Party States Allocated share of water %
share of power
Madhya Pradesh 18,250,000 acre feet (22.51
9,000,000 acre feet (11 km3) 16
250,000 acre feet (0.31 km3) 27
500,000 acre feet (0.62 km3)
28,000,000 acre feet (35 km3) 100
The Gujarat governments promises of irrigating 1.845 million hectares of land covering 3,112 villages of 73 talukas
through Sardar Sarovar Project. At least three Gujarat districts, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, where even rural parts have started receiving Narmada canal
water under the SSP project after 2005, have boosted net sowing area
leading to increase in crop production and crop yield.
The lower Narmada River Valley and the surrounding uplands, covering an area of
65,598.8 sq miles consists of dry deciduous forests. The ecoregion is home to 76 species of mammals and to 276 bird species none of
which are endemic. Some of the important national parks and wild life sanctuaries in the valley are:
Kanha National Park: This park is located in the upper reaches of Narmada, about 18 km from
Mandla, This park is the home of several wild animals including the Tiger. It is one of the best National Parks of Asia,. Satpura National
Park: This park set up in 1981, is located in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh. It
covers an area of 524 Sq.km. Satpura National Park, being part of a unique ecosystem, is very rich in
biodiversity. The fauna comprises tiger, leopard, sambar, chital, bhedki, nilgai, four-horned antelope, chinkara, bison (gour), wild boar, wild dog, bear, black buck, fox, porcupine, flying squirrel, mouse deer,
Indian joint squirrel etc. The flora of the national park consists of mainly
sal, teak, tendu, aonla, mahua, bel, bamboo, and a variety of grasses and medicinal plants.
Mandla Plant Fossils National Park, Dindori National fossils park Ghughuya is situated in Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh.
The Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve covers a wide spectrum of floral and faunal features that occupy the Satpura conservation area. It is one of the oldest forest reserves, which has an established
tradition of scientific management of forests.
There are also natural preserves such as the Amarkantak, the Bagh Caves and the
Bhedaghat. Shoolpaneshwar Sanctuary in Gujarat, near the Sardar Sraovar dam site, previously called the Dumkal Sloth Bear Sanctuary
covers an area of about 607 sq.km. It is the habitat of mammals and a variety of birds, including eagles and hawks.
The anthropological sites along River Narmada not only serve for the historians interest but also the tourists. The extensive caves of Bhimbhetka
are located in a dyke structure of the Narmada valley at about 45 km northeast of Bhopal.
The Narmada river development or NRD are the policies and
rules to keep the banks of the river clean and developed. The Narmada River features huge resources and potential for the development of the region. The Narmada river development was
designed to keep the banks and water of the river clean and usable for resource needs.
The people of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh received an apt gift
on the World Environment Day 2011 on June 5, 2011 supplies from the Narmada river
that is supposed to end their water woes. The Narmada water project has been prepared to cater to the water needs of Bhopal in 2037 when its estimated population would be 36 lakh.
A stretch on National Highway No. 8 between Vadodara and
Surat, known as the country's busiest road, will soon have five-hectare park ear Bharuch on the banks of Narmada. The project has been funded by tourism department and the Bharuch
district planning board. Local MLAs and MPs also have contributed to the project on November 14, 2011 which will cost Rs 2.62 crore.
The tributaries of River Narmada are Hallon, Banjar, Barna and Tawa are the main source of water, irrigation and other resource based activities in the central India.
Revered by millions, Narmada the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh, is polluting fast. Huge quantity of waste from cities and villages situated
along the river and effluents discharged from industries have already pushed the quality of water down to "B" category, according to Bureau of
Indian Standard 2296 norms. Those who worship the river are also to be blamed for the pollution.
Pollution starts from the source sacred Narmada kund and
the pollution level increases further alarmingly as it flows down the hills to the tribal-dominated district of Dindori starting its
long journey to the Arabian Sea. A report of the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) indicates
that in Dindori, the quality of water was under 'C' category of the BIS's 2296 norms (1981). Huge quantity of sewage is directly discharge
into the river in Dindori. The pollution control board monitors the quality of the river at 21 points four times every year.
In an effort to keep the Narmada pollution-free, the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to
launch a novel bio-health monitoring programme, wherein species that feed on pollutants will be introduced in the river. The programme, initiated by Madhya Pradesh's Narmada Valley Development
Authority (NVDA), will also include frequent assessments of the health of Narmada river over a period of time.
"The concept is based on the age-old practice of 'Benthic Invertebrate
Population' which was earlier found in plenty in healthy rivers, but these days due to growing pollution, it has become a rare thing," NVDA
Vice Chairman O P Rawat told PTI on February 24, 2012. Madhya Pradesh is the first state in the country to introduce this
natural way of keeping rivers healthy, he said. Benthic invertebrates are those species which feed on and convert pollutants present in the rivers into food for aquatic animals, thus
helping keep the river healthy in a natural manner, he explained.
The latest report of Central Pollution Control Board in August 2011 says that amongst India’s 10 major Indian rivers, water of Narmada is not only the
cleanest but even fit for drinking. The bacteria count in Narmada is the lowest in comparison to other major rivers. River Yamuna (यमुना) has emerged as the
most polluted river in the country in the study. The primary reason for the purity of Narmada water is said to be the
absence of any major industries along the river bank. The river also does not have to support large population, saving it from man-made pollution.
According to the NBA, the Maheshwar Dam project was privatised in 1992 and handed over to the S. Kumars
group will submerge the lands and homes of 50,000 to 70,000 peasants, fishermen and landless workers in 61 villages.
The Environment Ministry has issued a show cause notice on February 18, 2010 to the company building the
Maheshwar Dam in the Narmada Valley after hundreds of affected people marched to the Ministry demanding rehabilitation.
The Gujarat government is bent on blowing up billions of rupees for building the world's tallest statue, a 182-metre memorial for Gujarat-born Iron Man
of India, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, near the gigantic Narmada dam. The imposing "Statue of Unity" double the height of the
"Statue of Liberty" in New York to come up midstream on an islet 3.5km from the Narmada dam was estimated to cost Rs10 billion.
MAP OF Narmada
Dam on Narmada : HC seeks reply in 3 weeks
The Madhya Pradesh high court on Monday sought a reply within three
weeks from the state government on its alleged construction work of a
dam on Narmada river at Ranatola Dindori without land acquisition. The Upper Narmada Pariyojna Bandh Prabhavit Krishak Sangh Morcha had
moved an application informing the HC that the state was initiating construction of the dam despite the panchayats of affected villages have
resolved against the move as per norms.
As many 50,000 villagers will be displaced on construction of the dam
under Upper Narmada Project. The backwaters of the dam will submerge land of 27 villages in Dindori and Anuppur districts.
Omkareshwar Dam protest
Power minister Veerappa Moily on September 7, 2012 met NHPC officials to
discuss the Omkareshwar project in Khandwa. CNN-IBN had highlighted the protests by locals against the 520 MW plant which is a joint venture
between NHPC and the Madhya Pradesh government. The villagers are against raising the height of the Omkareshwar Dam as
heavy rainfall has brought life to a standstill in the region.
The Narmada river on which the dam is built, is flowing above the danger
level. The villagers have been protesting in neck-deep water against raising the height of the Omkareshwar Dam.
Maheswar dam’s water level to 154m
The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has cleared raising the water level at Maheshwar dam in
Madhya Pradesh to 154 meters on may 10, 2012, a decision that will not involve any submergence
but will expedite process of power generation, the company executing the project said.
"The decision will act as a catalyst for completion of remaining relief
and rehabilitation works," Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation said in a statement, adding the decision was long overdue and had been
taken on basis of reports submitted by government agencies.
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has criticized the order as "illegal and
illegitimate" and said "the MoEF order is based on false information given by the district
collector, Khargone, and the state government that no lands and houses would be submerged if the reservoir is filled up to 154 meters."
NBA threatens suit against Maheshwar dam promoters
On June 3, 2012 the war of words between the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation Ltd. (SMHPCL), the private company
building the Maheshwar dam, has reached its peak with the NBA threatening to file a defamation suit against the company for making “wild and defamatory” allegations.
The recent conflict is a result of Thursday's interim order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which admitted a petition by two
project- affected villagers and restrained the project promoters from filling up the dam upto 154 meters. The 400 MW Maheshwar project, one of the several big dams planned across
the Narmada river, has been a consistent generator of controversies ever since its inception in 1978.
Bio-health monitoring of Narmada
Madhya Pradesh is launching a bio- health monitoring, based on benthic invertebrates, of holy Naramda river to prevent it from going
the way of silt-laden Ganga and highly polluted Yamuna Rivers.
"The objective of the study is to assess the bio-health of Narmada River
over a period of time. It will be based on the population frequency of macro invertebrates in the 1077 kilometre long main river in Madhya Pradesh
and its 39 tributaries", Narmada Valley Development Authority vice-chairman said