Gujarat acts to tide over water scarcity: Minister

Ahmedabad, April 14 (IANS) The government is taking steps to overcome the water scarcity in Gujarat, where dams in Saurashtra and Kutch regions are left with just 10 percent water, according to a minister.

The government has deployed 147 State Reserve Police Force personnel along the Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam canals to prevent pilferage of water.

Most parts of the parched regions are dependent on water from the Narmada dam.

According to Water Supplies Minister Vijay Rupani, the government was prepared to face the crisis and had taken several measures.

“Due to two subsequent weak monsoons, dams have not been filled to capacity. In Saurashtra and Kutch, only 10 to 11 percent water is left in dams while some are bone dry,” Rupani said.

“As Gujarat generally gets its first showers by June 15, we have to wait for two more months,” he said.

“We are taking various measures to tide over the situation. We have started a control room where people can call us and register their water-related complaints.”

He said eight districts — Amreli, Jamnagar, Devbhoomi-Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot and Surendranagar in Saurashtra and Panchmahals and Dahod in central Gujarat — were the worst hit.

The government had increased water supply to these districts for the last one month through the Narmada canal network.

Where there was no canal network, hand pumps and bore-wells were being set up, Rupani said.

The minister, who is also the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, said: “The situation would have been worse in the absence of the Narmada canal network.

“As local water resources are drying up, our water supply is dependent on Narmada network, particularly in Saurashtra and Kutch.”

He claimed that nearly 10,000 villages across Gujarat were now connected to the Narmada canals.

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