Water scarcity looms large in Gujarat with state receiving only 74% rainfall so far this monsoon, says government

Ahmedabad: Gujarat is staring at water scarcity in coming days as the state has received only 73.87 percent of average rainfall this monsoon.

The silver lining is the storage in Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada, which, the government said, will be enough to meet the state's need for drinking water through the next summer.

"The state has received 73.87 percent rainfall as the monsoon is on the verge of receding," a government release said.

A farmer channels water to irrigate his wheat field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, December 15, 2015. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will recalibrate budget priorities in 2016 to focus on social initiatives, such as the country's first major crop insurance scheme, while capping previously prioritised infrastructure spending, officials say. Modi splurged on roads and railways this year in a strategy to spur economic growth. But it came partly at the expense of federal programmes for farmers and the poor, suffering through back-to-back drought years. Picture taken December 15, 2015.   REUTERS/Amit Dave - GF10000266582

Representational image. Reuters

The Kutch region has received a mere 26.51 percent of average rainfall so far, while North Gujarat has received 42.93 percent, central Gujarat 66.83 percent, Saurashtra 72.20 percent and South Gujarat the highest 94.79 percent.

Kutch and North Gujarat are likely to face severe water scarcity this year, officials said.

However, the Sardar Sarovar Dam is filled up to 125.82 meters, and it can provide drinking water for the entire state till the next summer, the government said.

It will also be able to provide water from Narmada Dam for farming during Kharif (monsoon) and Rabi (winter) seasons, the government said.

The Narmada water will also be used to fill up empty dams in Saurashtra including Aji 1, Macchu 2, Vadod and Ankadia through the Sauni scheme, officials said.

"We have decided to supply water for irrigation too," Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel told reporters in Gandhinagar.

He was speaking about decisions taken at a meeting on the water situation, chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

"The state government will provide 20,000 cusecs water for the next 20 days to save the crops in water-starved areas," Patel said.

"We plan to fill up 400 big and small ponds in North Gujarat by Narmada water through canals and pipeline network of the Sujlam Suflam scheme," he said.

"We also plan to fill the dams in Saurashtra region and provide water for irrigation from Narmada Dam under the SAUNI scheme," he said.

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Updated Date: Sep 15, 2018 08:36:43 IST

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