Rain-lashed Gujarat still drinks from tankers
GANDHINAGAR, JULY 10: In spite of a reasonably good
monsoon in Gujarat this year, the drinking water problem of
the state remains unsolved. Tankers continue to take water
to hundreds of towns and villages in the Saurashtra-Kutch
The regions are facing drinking water scarcity despite access
to Narmada water via the Saurashtra pipeline project.
Rajkot and Kutch districts, and some districts in north Gujarat
are the worst hit. Dams here have received very little water.
We have no other option but to continue running water tankers
and providing Narmada water to villages and towns in Rajkot,
Kutch, Amreli, Junagadh, Bhavnagar, and the Bhal region of
Ahmedabad district, said K.B. Patel, member-secretary of
Gujarat Water Supply Board.
Patel, however, said the Dhasa-Mahuva and Botad-Jaffrabad
water trains, which had been pressed into service to supply
drinking-water to Bhavnagar and Amreli districts, had been
withdrawn since Narmada water had reached these places. Tanker
service to villages will also be withdrawn soon, provided
they receive enough rain, he added.
Of the 120 large and medium dams in Saurashtra, the irrigation
department had reserved water in as many as 36 for drinking.
But over half of these are either empty or have received scanty
rains. Of the 11 dams in Rajkot district, only three have
gathered enough water.
A senior official said the situation in Kutch, north and central
Gujarat was no better. While dams in Kutch have received only
19 per cent of their gross storage capacity of 300 million
cubic meters (MCM) of water, rain waters received by dams
in Banaskantha and Sabarkantha are a meagre seven per cent
each, as against capacities of 630 MCMs and 541 MCMs respectively.