Hiral Dave,Gopal Kateshiya,Kamal Saiyed & Ritu Sharma
Cities and towns in Saurashtra are going thirsty with dams running dry and no sign of rains,though the situation in central and south Gujarat is comparatively less alarming.
Rajkot and Jamnagar have imposed water cuts to contain supply of drinking water.
From this week onwards,Rajkot will get water on alternate days four times a week while Jamnagar will get only three times a week and go completely dry during the weekends.
Against the required 450 lakh gallons of water per day,Rajkot presently gets around 300 lakh gallons and Jamangar gets only half of the required 90 million litres per day.
We have been trying to arrange for alternate water source. For that,survey and tests are on. Situation has been reviewed at regular intervals, said Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Ajay Bhadoo.
An official from Jamnagar Municipal Corporation said,The additional cut has been imposed from Thursday. This means the city gets water for 12 days in a month. For Rajkot,its 15 days.
The Rajkot Municipal Corporation draws water from Bhadar,Aji-I and Nyari-I dams,whose stock is fast depleting. Officials say in Aji-I,Bhadar and Nyari-I dams,the supply can be maintained for 62,120 and 35 days respectively.
Reservoirs for Jamnagar,including Ranjitsagar,Sasoi,Und and Aji-III,collectively hold nearly 340 million cubic feet level,sufficient for a month or so.
Surat and its neighbouring districts get their drinking water from Ukai and Kakrapar dams. The Surat Municipal Corporation supplies water from the Rander weir-cum-causeway. However,Ukai dam gets water from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra,besides local sources. Its catchment area is spread over 62,225 square kilometres. The water level stood at 303.37 feet on Friday against 315 feet in a normal season.
To overcome water deficiency in the newly added areas in the city,the SMC had started supplying water through underground pipes. Earlier,the newly added areas were pinning their hopes on the wells in their villages,whose levels have gone down. The SMC has also started distributing water through tankers to such areas.
SMC executive engineer N G Parekh told The Indian Express,The city residents will not face water shortage in the wake of delayed monsoon,as we have enough source of water. We get water from weir-cum-causeway. The second option is of Kakrapar dam and the third is of Ukai dam. Both the dams have sufficient water.
In Vadodara,the municipal corporation,which supplies 420 million litres of water per day (MLD),has not effected any water cuts. The situation of water supply is normal. At present,there is no need to activate any contingency plan. We will review the situation in the first week of August, said Municipal Commissioner Ashwini Kumar.
The VMC draws 250 MLD from from French wells in Mahi river and 145 MLD from Ajwa reservoir. The water level in Ajwa has gone up to 206.40 feet from 206 ft following rains this week.
In the rural areas,the ground water level is normal due to average monsoon last year. This is just the beginning of the season and water table is stable at 30 metres, said Ramesh Malkani,geologist at Vadodara office of GWRDC,a state government agency monitoring ground water levels.
In Ahmedabad city,the residents will get the municipal supply for an additional half hour from Saturday onwards. In addition to two hours of normal supply in the morning (from 6 to 8 am),the residents will receive supply from 5.30 to 6 in the evening.
Municipal officials claim that the city is not expected to face any water shortage in the coming weeks.
Since more than 90 per cent of water supply to the city is through Narmada river,so far there has been no water problem. Of the total 1,920 MLD of water source in the city,the share of borewell (532) supply is only 280 MLD, said city engineer Tarun Laad.
The city gets 300 MLD of water from Narmada canal pipeline,70 MLD from Dudheshwar water works,300 MLD from Raska weir which draws from Mahi river,275 MLD from Jaspur water treatment plant,200 MLD from frenchwells in Sabarmati river and 280 MLD from borewells.