Chief minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting in Gandhinagar on Tuesday to ascertain the drinking water requirements of the state during the summer months. The meeting was attended by his ministers Nitin Patel, Anandi Patel, Saurabh Patel and Babu Bokhiriya, besides other state government officials. “The meeting was held to make adequate water stocks available to villages facing drinking water shortages. It was held on Tuesday morning after Modi returned to Gandhinagar last evening from his electoral campaign,” stated an official release from the state government.
The emphasis was on water being supplied through the Narmada drinking water grid to water-scarce regions in Kutch and Saurashtra. Modi has asked the ministers and officials to monitor the water requirements of the villages daily by using technology. Water problems have already cropped up in the arid Saurashtra region with a Jetpur municipality councillor demanding snapping of water supply to Rajkot city from the Bhadar dam which supplies to Jetpur town. Rajkot gets 20-minute water supply every day from Bhadar dam.
“We have been asked to closely monitor the situation. At present, there is no drinking water shortage as such, but we have been asked to keep a constant eye on the water requirements,” said an official, who attended the meeting. “We already have a mechanism in place that can help us monitor the water requirements of the state,” the official added.
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Modi has instructed the officials to monitor the quantum of water being supplied out of dams and reservoirs, as well as maintain a tab on the water being distributed in Kutch through the help of WASMO. The release claimed that 1,045 villages and 23 towns and cities in Saurashtra region are being supplied nine crore litres of water through canal and pipelines, while 45 crore litres is being supplied to 2,325 villages and 38 towns of Bhavnagar, Amreli, Rajkot and Junagadh districts of Saurashtra. At present, 130 crore litres of water is supplied to 5,588 villages in the state through canals of the Narmada water grid, while another 50 crore litres is provided through dams, the release said.
Meanwhile, 801 villages and eight towns in Kutch region is being supplied with Narmada water, while 20 lakh litres of water is being sent through pipeline to Narayan Sarovar Border Post in Kutch. In order to provide water to villages of Abdasa, Rapar, Lakhpat, Nakhatrana and others in Kutch, about 30 water tankers have been arranged. Instructions have also been issued for providing fodder to the cattle in Kutch, the release added.