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The Valley PDF Print E-mail


The Narmada basin, hemmed between Vindya and Satpuda ranges, extends over an area of 98,796 km2 (38,145.3 sq mi) and lies between east longitudes 72 degrees 32' to 81 degrees 45' and north latitudes 21 degrees 20' to 23 degrees 45' lying on the northern extremity of the Deccan Plateau. The basin covers large areas in the states of Madhya Pradesh (86%), Gujarat (14%) and a comparatively smaller area (2%) in Maharashtra. In the river course of 1,312 km (815.2 mi) explained above, there are 41 triburaries, out of which 22 are from the Satpuda range and the rest on the right bank are from the Vindhya range.

The basin has five well defined physiographic regions. They are:

(1) The upper hilly areas covering the districts of Shahdol, Mandla, Durg, Balaghat and Seoni,

(2) The upper plains covering the districts of Jabalpur, Narsimhapur, Sagar, Damoh, Chhindwara, Hoshangabad, Betul, Raisen and Sehore,

(3) The middle plains covering the districts of East Nimar, part of west Nimar, Dewas, Indore and Dhar,

(4) The lower hilly areas covering part of the west Nimar, Jhabua, Dhulia, Narmada and parts of Vadodara, and

(5) the lower plains covering mainly the districts of Narmada Bharuch, and parts of Vadodara. The hill regions are well forested.

The upper, middle and lower plains are broad and fertile areas, well suited for cultivation. The Narmada basin mainly consists of black soils. The coastal plains in Gujarat are composed of alluvial clays with a layer of black soils on the surface.

The valley experiences extremes of hydrometeorological and climatic conditions with the upper catchment having an annual precipitation in the range of 1,000 mm (3.3 ft) to 1,850 mm (6.1 ft) and with half or even less than half in its lower regions (650 mm (2.1 ft)–750 mm (2.5 ft)); the diversity of vegetation from lush green in the upper region to dry deciduous teak forest vegetation in the lower region is testimony to this feature.

The Irrigation Commission (1972) identified the Narmada basin in Madhya Pradesh as drought affected and a large part of North Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch as semi-arid or arid scarcity regions on account of extreme unreliability of rainfall, rendering them 'chronically' drought prone and subject to serious drinking water problems.


“When a person ignores the base instinct of hunger and offers you his last morsel of food; you are in the presence of the Narmada.”