Indiatimes.com



the Times Of India

Cities
Friday 19 May 2000

TIMES DIGITAL CITY | JUKEBOX | CHAT | MESSAGE BOARDS | FREE EMAIL | ARCHIVE | CONTACT US


 Home
 Breaking News
 India
 Cities
 World
 Sports
 Entertainment
 Indian Business
 Intl Business
 Stocks
 Infotech
 Health/Sci
 Editorial

 Top StoriesTop stories
across papers


 PhotoGalleryPhoto gallery
 WeatherWeather
 IndiatimesIndiatimes  Cartoon

Interview
Letters

Crossword
 Java
 Image

Times Cricket Ratings

Today's Chat

ET Quick Qoute

Type the name of the company to get the latest BSE/NSE stock quote


Ahmedabad
Email this page
Checkdams alone are of no help in Saurashtra

The contention that small dams and checkdams can solve the current acute water shortage in drought-prone Saurashtra and North Gujarat and the belief that the present drought could have been avoided only through checkdams ignores the ecoctimate and physiognomic patterns of Saurashtra.

MAJOR parts of Saurashtra come under the arid to semi-arid ecoclimate (except Gir forest) with irregular and scattered rains of up to 500 mm for a fortnight. Physiognomically, the entire area is like an inverted saucer with a basaltic rock formation up to 100 meters. The soil is mostly clayey loam and extends up to a depth of a meter depth or so. These patterns do not permit percolation of rain-water to the deeper soil zone and hence the water table cannot be recharged. (In North Gujarat, the soil is alluvial, sandy-silty loan and up to 100 meter and more, and therefore faster percolation and water table recharge is possible). Therefore the run-off of water is faster than the percolation.

Further, higher air temperature through the year evaporate about half the stored water. It is not just the number of small dams and checkdams that count but the fact that there should be enough rains at the sites of such dams. Aji Dam of Rajkot overflowed only twice in the last three decades. Thus, all the dams and checkdams in Saurashtra do not retain water to their full capacity.

Another significant climatic rhythm is the ten-year cyclic rainfall pattern: three years of average rainfall, four years of lean and three consecutive years of scanty rains resulting in severe drought in many parts of the Saurashtra. Over the years, silting has also decreased the water-storage capacity of the dams. Dragging of silt is not a common practice.

Checkdams are not totally ruled out, but they alone cannot solve Saurashtra's water shortage. We also need a series of checkdams in the coastal areas to prevent sea ingress which has been extended inland from five km to 25 km in recent years, owing to the over-use of ground water for irrigation in coastal areas.

Further, the human population and the cattle population has doubled and there has been a four-fold increase in industries in the region over the last 50 years. Improvements in agronomic technology, irrigation of crops - all these demand water and hence the need for water has escalated in the last decade.

Even if enough checkdams are made, they can solve the water problem only in the first year of three consecutive drought years, the remaining two years then would be severe as we have felt such situations during similar situations in 1972-73-74 and again in 1985-86-87. Years with good rainfall in the last decade made the politicians and decision-makers forget that a critical situation arose in 1999 due to poor rainfall.

There are many alternatives to meet the acute water shortage problem in Saurashtra. Looking to the discussed ecoclimatic and physiognonic conditions, making arrangements to bring water from outside Saurashtra through canals and pipelines from a perennial source of water like the Narmada, Mahi and Tapti, is ideal.



The Economic Times


AHMEDABAD HEADLINES

Disinvestment in PSUs to continue

Varsity teachers to stay away from admission process

18 officials face the axe for irregularities

Licences of six more cattle camps cancelled

Grains for drought-hit districts

SNDT university seventh to receive NAAC accreditation

GEB starts using imported coal at Ukai power plant

Checkdams alone are of no help in Saurashtra

Serving the disabled is mission of his life

Monthly Rly tickets for labourers

2 die of gastro-enteritis

Medicinal herbs fall victim to urbanisation

Software to aid understanding of chemistry

Prince Charming captivates the city

Sabarmati Central Jail to have an improved look

State makes a 'statement' on sex education

PIL filed over Vasad bridge toll tax issue

City rly team wins quiz competition

Students file plea against results

Panjrapole provides succour to animals

Their business depends on rain too

TopTOP


 
 

|Home| |India| |Cities| |World| |Sports| |Entertainment| |Indian Business| |Intl Business| |Stocks| |Infotech| |Health/Sci| |Editorial|

|Subscriptions| |About the Publisher| |International Times| |TOI Audience|
For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service
|Disclaimer|


For comments and feedback send Email
© Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. 2000.