NWDT Award

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Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT)

In spite of the huge potential, there was hardly any development of the Narmada Water Resources prior to Independence. Investigations were carried out after 1947 for a number of projects but Inter-State differences on sharing of waters and planning of the schemes for development of the lower reaches of the river prevented any concrete action. As these could not be resolved through negotiations the Central Government by Notification of the then Ministry of Irrigation & Power No S.O.4054 dated 6th Oct. 1969, issued under Section -4 of the Inter-State water Disputes Act 1956 (33 of 1956), constituted the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) to adjudicate upon the water dispute. The Tribunal investigated the matters referred to it and on 16th August. 1978 forwarded to the Central Government its report setting out the facts as found by it and giving its Decision on the matters referred to it. There upon, the Central Government and the State Govts of Gujarat ,Madhya Pradesh, Maharasthra and Rajasthan made references to the Tribunal under Sub-section (3) of Section - 5 of the Act. The Tribunal considered these references and forwarded its Further Report to the Central Government on 7th December, 1979. The decision of the Tribunal, as modified by the explanations and guidance given in its further report, were published in the official gazette by the Central Government, under Notification of the then Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (Department of Irrigation) No. S.O.792 (E) of the 12th December, 1979 whereupon the Decision of the Tribunal became final and binding on the parties to the dispute.


Clause - I The orders of the Tribunal shall come into operation from the date of its publication in official gazette under Section - 6 of Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956.

Clause - II The utilisable quantum of waters of Narmada at Sardar Sarvor dam site on the basis of 75% dependability should be assessed at 34,537.44 million cubic metre (28 MAF).

Clause - III Out of the utilisable quantum of Namada water (28 MAF) Madhya Pradesh is entitled to a share of 22,511.01 MCM (18.25 MAF), Gujarat to a share of 11,101.32 Mcum (9.0 MAF), Rajasthan to a share of 616.74 MAF (0.50 MAF) and Maharashtra to a share of 308.37 Mcum (0.25 MAF).

Clause - IV Excess water or distress in any year, compared to utilisable quantum (28MAF) shall be shared in the same proportion as their actual normal shares i.e. 73% by M.P. 36% by Gujarat, 1% by Maharashtra and 2% by Rajasthan.

Clause - V The order is subject to review at any time after a period of 45 years from the date of publication of the decision of the Tribunal.

Clause - VI The full supply level of Navagam canal off-taking from Sardar Sarovar should be fixed at 91.44 m (300 ft). at head regular with gradient of 1 in 12,000 upto the off-take of Saurashtra branch and 1 in 10,000 beyond that point upto Rajasthan border. The bed gradients can be changed by Rajasthan and Gujarat by mutual agreement.

Clause - VII Height of Sardar Sarovar dam should be fixed at Full Reservoir level 138.68 m (455 ft) with maximum water level at 140.21 m (460 ft.)

Clause - VIII (I) Out of the net power produced at Navagam Canal and river Bed Power House on any day the share of Madhya Pradesh will be 57%, Maharashtra=s share will be 27% & Gujarat=s share shall be 16%.

(ii) The capital cost of power portion of Navagam complex (SSP) shall be shared by Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat in the ratio of 57:27:16,

Clause - IX The requirements of Sardar Sarovar have to be met from the releases by Madhya Pradesh and by inflows from the intermediate catchment, surplus to the requirements of Madhya Pradesh below Narmada Sagar and Maharashtra. The releases from Maheshwar work out to 10,015.86 Mcum (8.12 MAF). Making uniform releases the amount of water to be released by Madhya Pradesh per month would be 834.65 Mcum (0.677 MAF).

Clause - X (I) Madhya Pradesh shall take up and complete the construction of Narmada Sagar dam with FRL 262.13(860 ft.) concurrently with or earlier than the construction of Sardar Sarovar dam.

(ii) Gujarat should credit to Madhya Pradesh each year 17.63% of expenditure on account of the cost of construction of Narmada Sagar dam.

Clause -XI This Clause contains detailed directions on the definition of oustees, lands to be compulsorily acquired, liability of Gujarat to pay compensation for land acquisition and rehabilitation, provisions for rehabilitation, programme for payment by Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra on this account.

Clause - XII The cost of Unit-I dam and appurtenant works should be apportioned between irrigation and power in the ratio of 43.9 and 56.1.

Clause - XIII (I) The irrigation component cost of Unit-I Sardar Sarovar dam and appurtenant works should be shared by Gujarat and Rajasthan in the ratio of 18:1.

(II) The cost of Navagam Canal with it=s design approved by NCA shall be shared between Gujarat and Rajasthan as under:

(a) The differential cost in respect of land, earth work and lining due to change in the bed gradient prescribed by the Tribunal, shall be borne by Rajasthan in full.

(b) The actual cost less(a) above shall be shared on cusec mile basis.

Clause - XIV The NWDT under this clause made orders and gave detailed directions for setting up of NCA and a Review Committee for securing compliance with and implementation of the decision and direction of the NWDT. The Tribunal under this clause has also ordered for setting up of Sardar Sarovar Construction Advisory Committee to monitor the construction of Unit-I dam and appurtenant works and Unit-III power complex of the project.

Clause - XV The States of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan shall bear their own costs for appearing before the Tribunal and also the expenses of the Tribunal.

Clause - XVI In addition to the orders on sharing of waters (including surplus and distress in any year) the Orders of the Tribunal related to FRL of Sardar Sarovar dam, sharing of costs and benefits, regulated releases by Madhya Pradesh for the requirements of SSP, payment to be made by Gujarat for regulated releases, the machinery to be set up for implementation and compliance of its decisions are made subject to review at any time after a period of 45 years from the date of publication of the Decision of the Tribunal in the official gazette.