Need for Sardar Sarovar Yojana
Post 2nd World War 20th Century is marked by end of colonial era. Countries - small and big, after attaining political freedom, embarked on ambitious programme of economic development. The twin problem of under employment and poverty has been the most difficult challenge they have been facing. They are no doubt endowed with diverse natural resources, which have remained unharnessed. Burgeoning population has thrown up army of unemployed young people who are asset if gainfully used, but an explosive liability if kept idle. The crucial task for the planners and leaders of these countries is to channelise the unharnessed natural resources - land, water, minerals, forests, sea wealth and so on and the idle manpower so as to transform them into productive wealth for the people.

Arable land and fresh water are two important resources of India. India's arable land area is 30% more than that of China which is as such three times India in size - geographically. India's surface water estimated at 1952 BCM is about two-third that of China. India's northern region makes up the World's largest alluvial plane and the soils rank among the most fertile in the World. And yet India remains poor and underfed : Then, what is the handicap? It is two-fold - first our arable land is spread out stretching from Kachchh to Brahmaputra valley and from Deccan trap to planes of Punjab, while bulk of surface water sources are concentrated in about a dozen river basins; second, 80 to 90% of surface water is available only in monsoon months, and flows down the sea if not impounded. Therefore neither water nor land is utilised optimally, depriving the country of their full benefits. The Sardar Sarovar Project, or any other large water resources project for that matter, has to be viewed in this national perspective.

In course of 50 years of planned economic development of our country, we have taken tremendous strides in agriculture sector. Our country which had to depend upon imports to feed even a population of 350 millions (35 crores) when we became independent, has attained a position of self sufficiency with some exportable surplus even with a population of over 1 billion (102 crores). This has been made possible by harnessing waters of major rivers of our country with a chain of large multipurpose projects starting from Bhakhara Nangal, Hirakud, Nagarjuna Sagar, Tungabhadra etc. India's population continues to grow notwithstanding our all out efforts on family planning front. Various studies indicate that country's population might cross 120 crores by 2020 A.D. Thus we shall have additional 200 million (20 crores) people to be accommodated in our production basket of food grains, sugar, cotton, edible oil and so on. This can be possible only by creating more Bhakhara Nangals and more Hirakuds. Harnessing entire water resources of the country is the only way to sustain our self-sufficiency in basic requirement of food and clothing. Other countries of the World have also done the same. And the faster we go on this path better assured we shall be on the food security and keeping poverty and hunger at bay, improving the quality of life and providing electricity to light the rural homes and energise wheels of Cottage Industries.
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