same document, the most needy rural areas of Kutch and Saurashta are assigned only 55 LPCD. Again, this document mentions that areas with high cattle populations (large parts of Kutch and Saurashtra) will be assigned 30 cattle /day, but then proceeds to completely ignore that statement when actually calculating the amount of water required (GWSSB 1983: Appendix IV-C). The NCA pamphlet fails to mention the higher urban figure of 227 LPCD and asserts that all villages will be provided 70 LPCD. It makes no mention of water for cattle, though the images of cattle trekking miles for water are repeatedly used by the SSP authorities in pressing their claims for the necessity of the project.
The GWSSB study (GWSSB 1983: p.38, 57) estimated the cost of supplying drinking water to be 728 crores (in 1981-82 rupees), which is well over Rs. 1,500 crores in current terms. The NCA document, on the other hand, does not mention any definite figure, but asserts that the cost of the project "would run to several thousand crores". It is worth mentioning that the GWSSB study only considered 4719 villages in its cost estimates, whereas the current number of villages is claimed to be 8215. The projected cost of supplying water to villages is 3-4 times that of supplying water to urban areas (GWSSB 1983:57). Thus, the cost of supplying drinking water may more than double with the current targets.
The cost of supplying drinking water has not been included in any cost benefit analysis of the SSP to date. The additional cost of drinking water supply will make the financial feasibility of the entire project very questionable.
As if this was not enough, both the GWSSB (1983) and the NCA (1991) documents assert that studies so far are only preliminary and a detailed project report is yet to be prepared. This was supposed to be complete by 1992, but in January 1993 the GWSSB issued an advertisement in Gujarat newspapers calling for consultants to do a feasibility study on supplying drinking water from the Narmada. Thus, even after forty years of planning for the "most studied project", there is no detailed project report to date, and it is unlikely that a report will be prepared within the next couple of years!
In essence, the entire scenario for drinking water supply is in a state of confusion and unpreparedness. Why is a comprehensive plan for supplying drinking water not yet ready ? When will the water reach the people? How many people are expected to benefit? Where do the beneficiaries live? What