The backwater level Gujarat's Sardar Sarovar Dam has risen to 133.70 metres, 7.2 metres above the danger mark, leaving thousands of trees, large chunk of agricultural land and human settlements in Nisarpur, on the brink of going under.
A backwater is part of a river in which there is almost no current and gets created after the natural flow of the river is obstructed due to construction of dams as well as natural causes like vegetation.
In order to thus maintain the water level of the dam, out of its 30 gates, 15 have been opened to let flow as much as 4 lakh cusecs of water.
To this end, a village in Madhya Pradesh's Dhar district has begun submerging.
The village, two centuries old, has a population of around 10,000 and is located on the banks of the Uri Baghini river and water released from the Sardar Sarovar Dam over the past 20 days had caused the river level to rise continuously, Devendra Kumar Kamdar, a leader of the dam's affected people and president of a local traders union, told PTI.
"On Sunday, level of Sardar Sarovar Dam's backwater, located about four kilometres from Nisarpur, reached 133 metres, which is 6.5 metres above the danger mark," an official from Madhya Pradesh government's Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) told PTI.
"After heavy rain, water is being released from dams built on Narmada and its tributaries, including Uri Baghini. The water level near Nisarpur is rising rapidly," the NVDA official added.
Kamdar informed that around half the villages in the vicinity have been evacuated, claiming that the situation also highlighted the irregularities and discrepancies in the government's compensation distribution mechanism and the resettlement of displaced.
An official on condition of anonymity contended that several people continued to stay in Nisarpur despite getting compensation and being asked to shift.
The administration has asked people to leave as soon as possible as the water level rises by the hour, an official said, adding that the state government had set up a permanent rehabilitation site as well as temporary tin-sheds for the displaced.
Vehicles were being arranged for the people to shift household items, he added.
Residents rue markets, temples, mosques, crematoria, and other sites that have been part of their lives for years now are slowly beginning to disappear.
"These are the places I grew up in, playing with my friends. Maybe the water level will come down during summer but Nisarpur will never be the same again due to large scale migration," said a tearful Yash Patidar.
Patidar had a two-wheeler showroom in Nisarpur which he recently vacated.
(with inputs from agencies)