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Checkdams may spell doom for Saurashtra

The Times of India News Service

RAJKOT: The ruling BJP's latest policy of constructing checkdams may, instead of providing succour to the people of Saurashtra, spell doom for them.

Irrigation sources suggest with the construction of checkdams in the catchment areas, dams like Aji, Bhadar, Fofal and others will not fill up if it rains just 15-20 cms.

These sources assert that the earth is parched and water from the first few showers will seep into the ground. And most of the water will be stored in the checkdams, reducing the flow to the dams.

In such a situation, Saurashtra will have to depend on water from the Narmada dam or the Mahi river to cater to its needs.

As many as 250 check-dams have been constructed by the BJP leaders in the catchment areas of the Aji. Around 400 such dams dot the Bhadar river, the lifeline of Rajkot and Porbunder districts.

The Bhadar river originates in the Madhava hills near Vichiya. The Sukhbhadar river, which supplies water to Bhavnagar district, also originates from the Madhava hills.

The checkdams will considerably reduce the flow of water into the Bhadar dam and citizens of Rajkot may be in for trouble if it does not fill up. Even the flow from the tributaries of the Bhadar will affected.

As the situation turns grim, analysts feel that the Rajkot Municipal Corporation should think about finding its own source of water. Experts feel that the civic body should now go in for large-scale water conservation and effect changes in building bylaws to ensure that high-rise structures have the facility to conserve rain water.

Experts also say that instead of constructing check-dams, steps should be initiated to stop the flow of water into the sea. The overflow from the dams should be conserved rather than checking the flow into the dam.

Recharging of existing borewells is another alternative. Large underground tanks could be used to store rain water. Most of the rain water has to be conserved, the experts point out, warning that if this is not done, drought would be a recurring feature.



The Economic Times


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