State govt banks on bores, tankers to end water crisis

Faced with perennial water crisis, especially in Saurashta, Kutch and north Gujarat, the state government has decided to rely on tried and tested method of digging new bores and running tankers.

The state is left with a little over 50 per cent of its total water holding capacity and the ambitious Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited project has not been able to end the water shortage entirely.

The state government's water supply department has already invited tenders for tankers and is set to drill wherever it is required and is possible.

"No village or city will go without water. We have huge network of SSNL. If required, tankers and bores will be brought into picture," said Water Supply Minister Babu Bokhiria, who will tour Saurashtra-Kutch region for three days from February 7 for a special assessment of the situation.

"We are ready with tenders that will be issued whenever required," he added.

According to minister, while tankers and bores were the only resort in the past, Gujarat now has the option of Narmada waters, which has reduced the water crisis greatly.

At present, Saurashtra-Kutch gets 400 MLD per day from SSNL and the state government aims to increase it to 900 MLD.

All major cities in Saurashtra like Rajkot, Jamnagar, Amreli and Surendranagar face water cuts at present. While some areas get water supply on alternate days, some others get it once in five or six days.

According to government data, a total of 135 dams in the Saurashtra region hold only 2,501 million cubic meters of water, which is only 5 per cent of their total capacity.

Most of the dams have either hit the rock bottom or are about to do so.

In Kutch, 20 dams together hold only 330 MCM of water, which is 13 per cent of their total capacity.

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