Narmada basin extends over states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh having an area of 98,796 Sq.km which is nearly 3% of the total geographical area of the country with maximum length and width of 923 & 161 km. It lies between 72°38’ to 81°43’ east longitudes and 21°27’ to 23°37’ north latitudes. It is bounded by the Vindhyas on the north, by the Maikala range on the east, by the Satpuras on the south and by the Arabian Sea on the west. The hilly regions are in the upper part of the basin, and lower middle reaches are broad and fertile areas well suited for cultivation. Narmada is the largest west flowing river of the peninsular India. It rises from Maikala range near Amarkantak in Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh, at an elevation of about 1057 m. The total length of the river is 1,312 km and for the first 1079 km it flows in Madhya Pradesh and thereafter forms the common boundary between Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra for 35 km, and Maharashtra and Gujarat for 39 km. In Gujarat State it stretches for 159 km. Its important tributaries are the Burhner, the Banjar, the Sher, the Shakkar, the Dudhi, the Tawa , the Ganjal, the Kundi, the Goi and the Karjan which joins from left whereas the Hiran, the Tendoni, the Barna, the Kolar, the Man, the Uri, the Hatni and the Orsang joins from right. Narmada drains into the Arabian Sea through the Gulf of Khambhat. The major part of basin is covered with agriculture accounting to 56.90%. Water bodies cover 2.95% of the total basin area. The basin spreads over 20 parliamentary constituencies (2009) comprising 15 of Madhya Pradesh, 3 of Gujarat, and 1 each of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. The Narmada water Disputes Tribunal has allocated the Narmada water amongst the States as below:
|Madhya Pradesh||18.25 Million Acre Feet|
|Gujarat||9.0 Million Acre Feet|
|Rajasthan||0.5 Million Acre Feet|
|Maharashtra||0.25 Million Acre Feet|
|Total||28.0 Million Acre Feet|
|Basin Extent |
72° 38’ to 81° 43’ E
21° 27’ to 23° 37’ N
|Length of Narmada River (Km)||1312|
|Catchment Area (Sq.km.)||98796|
|Average Water Resource Potential (MCM)||45639|
|Utilizable Surface Water Resource(MCM)||34500|
|Live Storage Capacity of Completed Projects (MCM)||17806.0|
|Live Storage Capacity of Projects Under Construction (MCM)||6835.00|
|Total Live Storage Capacity of Projects (MCM)||24641.0|
|No. of Hydrological Observation Stations of CWC||26 (including 8 Gauge site)|
|No. of Flood Forecasting Stations of CWC||4|
Physiographically, the basin can be divided into hilly and plain regions. The hilly regions are in the upper part of the basin as well as in the lower middle reaches and are forested. The plain regions in between the hilly tracts and in the lower reaches are broad and fertile areas well suited for cultivation. The available information on soil survey conducted in the basin indicates that black soils are predominant in the basin. The coastal plains are composed of alluvial clays with a layer of black soil on top. The culturable area of the basin is about 5.9 M.ha which is 3% of the total culturable area of the basin.
Narmada river rises near Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh at an elevation of about 900 m and flows for about 1312 km before outfalling into the Arabian Sea through the Gulf of Cambay. Its principal tributaries are the Burhner, the Halon, the Heran, the Banjar, the Dudhi, the Shakkar, the Tawa, the Barna ,the Kolar, the Ganjal, the Beda, the Goi, and the Orsang.
Status of Surface water development
The surface water development in the basin had been very insignificant during the pre-plan period. Tawa, Barna and Sukha are the important projects completed during the plan period. With the award of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal, the basin is poised or all round development in the water resources front. Among the projects under construction in the basin, Sardar Sarovar, Indira Sagar, Bargi and Omkareshwar are the most important.
The Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal has allocated the Narmada water(75% dependable utilisable flow of 34.54 cubic Km at Sardar Sarovar dam) amongst the States as under:
|Madhya Pradesh||22.51 Cubic Km|
|Gujarat||11.10 Cubic Km|
|Rajasthan||0.62 Cubic Km|
|Maharashtra||0.31 Cubic Km|
|Total||34.54 Cubic Km|
The major Hydro Power Project in the basin are Indira Sagar, Sardar Sarovar, Omkareshwar, Bargi & Maheshwar.
Urban Centers and Industries
Jabalpur is the only important urban centre in the basin.Other important towns situated in the basin are Khandwa and Baruch.The basin has only few industries located mainly at Jabalpur, Khandwa and Baruch. These are textiles, drugs and pharmaceuticals, tobacco products, machine tools, glass and ceramics etc.
Hydrological observation in the basin are carried out by the Central and State Governments.The Central Water Commission maintains 18 H.O sites in the basin. In addition,gauge-discharge data are available at 43 sites established by the State Government. The Central Water commission also operates 4 flood forecasting stations in the basin.
The Narmada Control Authority is an interstate high level administrative authority, set up by the Govt. of India, 1980 for the purpose of securing compliance with the implementation of the decisions of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal by the basin States. The Sardar Sarovar Construction Advisory Committee has been set up by the Government of India in 1980 for ensuring efficient, economical and early execution of the Sardar Sarovar project. The Government of Madhya Pradesh has formed a Narmada valley Development Authority to look after the all round development of the portion of Narmada basin lying in Madhya Pradesh.
1. Agreement Dated 22nd July, 1972 between Governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan on Narmada Development. view
2 Agreement Dated 12th July, 1974 between the Governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan about the Narmada water dispute. view
3 Agreement Dated 8th March, 1975 between the Governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan on development of Narmada waters. view
4 Agreement Dated 5th April, 1978 between the Governments of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh about the medium schemes in Narmada Basin. view
- List of Major Medium Irrigation Projects in Narmada Basin
- List of Dams in Narmada Basin
- List of Barrages/Weirs in Narmada Basin
- List of Lift Stations in Narmada Basin
Glimpses of Narmada River
Courtesy: Shri Vinod Pandit, Vippy Professional Lab, Indore
(Source:Reports,Ministry of Water Resources, CWC Water Year Book)