Other States

Gujarat set to face water crisis in summer

The Gujarat Chief Minister has declared that farmers should notdemand water for irrigation this year as the available water willbe used only for drinking. File photo  

With less than normal monsoon this year, Gujarat is set to face a major water crisis in summer as most of the dams and reservoirs in the State have less than 50 per cent storage. Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has already declared that the farmers should not demand water for irrigation this year as the available water will be used only for drinking.

Except the Narmada dam in south Gujarat, most of the dams and reservoirs in the State have less than 50 per cent water, forcing the authorities to reserve it only for drinking purposes, particularly for Saurashtra.

“This year, farmers should not ask for water for irrigation as the State will not be in position to provide it due to shortage,” the Chief Minister told a gathering in Saurashtra on Sunday.

Several towns like Porbandar and hundreds of villages in Saurashtra are already facing shortage. In Porbandar town, water is provided once a week in several areas. Two main reservoirs that provide water to the area may go dry in a month.

“Drinking water crisis will hit Saurashtra very badly,” said Congress lawmaker Mr Raghavji Patel, who represents the Jamnagar rural Assembly segment.

The countryside of Jamnagar, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Kutch will face severe shortage of drinking water from March. “In Kutch, the government has completely failed to provide Narmada water in far-flung areas,” said another Congress lawmaker Mr Shaktisinh Gohil, representing Abdasa (Kutch) Assembly segment.

“It is true that this year water problem will be acute but the State authorities have made provision to deal with it,” said a senor bureaucrat in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).

“The Chief Minister has already instructed the water supply department to ensure that drinking water is supplied to all villages,” the official added.

However, the task seems daunting as except the Narmada canal, no other source of water is available. Also, the government agency responsible for building canals to take Narmada water to far off areas in Saurashtra has failed to construct canals as over 50,000-km canal network is yet to be built.

Shocking, says Congress

“It is shocking that The Chief Minister’s statement is shocking said no water to farmers for irrigation. If there is shortage, why doesn’t the government does not stop water for industry if there is shortage,” asked Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 11:35:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gujarat-set-to-face-water-crisis-in-summer/article8042443.ece

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