Bhavnath Temple Essay

Executive Summary: The case deals with the problems faced while building a dam across the rivers Lokmata and Sadmata in northern Gujarat and further issues encountered while a proposal is made to raise the control levels of it. The objective of the case is to maximize the irrigation potential of the dam while respecting the religious sentiments of the people. The options are either to implement the former plan in its present form or the latter by convincing the people of its benefits and deal with the issues faced.

The conclusion is to try and implement the new plan resulting in maximization of irrigation and revenues. Word Count: 104 Situational Analysis: The setting of the case is in North Gujarat in the period just after independence. The government has proposed to build an earthen dam across the rivers Lokmata and Sadmata to improve irrigational facilities in three districts. India was then a primarily agrarian economy and agriculture was largely dependent on rain and North Gujarat being a water starved area would benefit immensely from the construction of this dam by making water available all throughout the year.

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The authorities have made a new proposal to raise the level of dam which would result in the submergence of the Bhavnath temple located in the projected reservoir and this has resulted in the villagers strongly opposing the project. The central issue that the Bhavnath Temple Case deals with is the balance between economic development and religious sentiments of the people. Under Plan A the dam was to impound 4700 million cu. ft of water irrigating 92,000 acres of land at a cost of 1. 7 crores. It was expected that the increase in agricultural production would be 30,400 tons every year and this was valued at 1. 774 crores. The new plan (Plan B) called for raising the irrigation potential of the dam by raising the level the three control levels. The dam would now hold 5,700 million cu. ft of water and was estimated to cost 1. 9 crores. Therefore, an 11. 7 % increase in cost could result in the area under irrigation, agricultural production and revenues to increase by 21. 2 %. But the new plan would result in the temple being completely submerged and could not be saved with the steps taken to save the temple incorporated in the former. As a consequence he villagers have vehemently opposed the raising of the dam levels. The objective of the case is to maximize the irrigation potential of the dam while respecting the religious sentiments of the people. Options: 1. Move ahead with the revised plan by convincing the people of its benefits and relocate the temple. 2. Continue with the execution of Plan A. 1. The new plan raises the irrigation potential and revenues from the project as stated above (para 2) There is only a marginal addition to the cost of construction of the canal system for the irrigation facilities to spread to a larger area.

The compensation paid to the villages and providing for new houses had already been factored and had been added to the direct cost of constructing the dam in Plan A. The people seemed happy with this arrangement(for relocation) and there would be no extra cost added for compensation paid as there is no mention that additional people have been displaced to implement Plan B. There is also no increase in the effort put in by the authorities to provide the displaced people with new sources of livelihood.

As there was widespread poverty in the country the increase in revenue has to be given a lot of weight age because as mentioned earlier, the economy was largely agrarian and agriculture was the major source of income. The increase in agricultural production as a result of increasing the control levels of the dam would also contribute to the food security of the area if not to the country. The only negative of Plan B is that the Bhavnath temple would be submerged in spite of the steps taken to protect it in Plan A.

The temple was very important to the inhabitants of the area and the temple fair attracted people from far which could have been a source of income to the locals. The authorities had suggested that the temple deities be shifted to an alternative location observing full religious rites, but this could still hurt the religious sentiments of a section of the people including the temple priests whose livelihood depends on the temple. 2. Plan A calls for the FSL and HFL levels to be fixed at 592 and 596 respectively. This plan has in principle been agreed to by the people living in the area and they seemed to be happy with it.

The temple could be protected from submergence by building a water weir and also all weather access was to be provided by the government. This plan protected the religious sentiments of the people. But Plan A does not realize the full irrigation potential of the project by not maximizing agricultural production and thus revenues with only a minimal increase in costs. Based on the evaluation of the options, Plan B should be implemented. The action plan would include: 1. Providing the extra funding (20 lakhs) for the project to raise the FSL and the HFL levels. 2.

Educating and convincing the people of the benefits of raising the dam levels. This would include the fact that the land under irrigation would increase and as a direct consequence the amount of revenue earned by the people in the area would increase and also the food security of the area would improve. Also, the dam could be a tourist attraction and attract people from the surrounding areas thus generating extra revenue. 3. Holding consultations with the village heads as well as the temple priests and decide upon how the temple should be relocated and finding a suitable alternative location for it. . Generation of a political will on the part of the government to implement a plan which might turn out to be a sensitive issue but would provide long term economic growth for the area. Contingency Plan: If the people are still opposed to the implementation of Plan B, Plan A in its present form should be implemented as it has been agreed to by them. A dam would not only provide water for irrigation all year round but also protect the area from floods in case of heavy rains.


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