With Gujarat staring at 52 per cent deficient rainfall in June, the state government Wednesday decided to release 17,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water in the Narmada canal and fill 700 water bodies in North Gujarat. The government has stepped in to help farmers currently engaged in sowing for the Kharif season.
“It looks as if the monsoon is stretched. The government has decided to release 17,000 cusecs of water in Narmada main canal that will also help fill the 700-odd water bodies linked to these canals. This will provide sufficient water to farmers of Saurashtra and North Gujarat who are currently engaged in sowing the Kharif crops,” said Rushikesh Patel.
The minister said the government had received requests for releasing Narmada water from BJP leaders of North Gujarat. “This water supply will continue for about a week and it will benefit 11 lakh hectares where farmers are sowing Kharif crops,” Patel added.
So far, the state has received only 49.5 mm of rainfall, against an average of 104 mm it receives in June. In districts such as Gandh-inagar, Mehsana and Tapi, the deficit is more than 70 per cent.
Farmers in Gujarat have sown on 19.68 lakh hectares as of June 27 in the ongoing Kharif season. This is, however, 21 per cent less than the 25.02 lakh hectares covered during the same period last year. Almost 16 lakh hectares of Kharif crops have been sown in the Saurashtra region and 1.76 lakh hectares in North Gujarat. Sowing in Central (86,500 hectares) and South Gujarat (44,700 hectares) is yet to pick up the pace.
According to data from the Water Resources and Water Supply Department, the Sardar Sarovar Dam on River Narmada stood at 114.88 metres (full reservoir level of 138.68 metres) Wed-nesday. The dam has a gross storage capacity of 9,460 MCM (mill- ion cubic metres), of which 5,760 MCM is the live storage capacity. At 110 metres, the dam begins to draw from the dead storage.
Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada was filled to 44.6 per cent capacity Wednesday with only 486 MCM of live storage remaining. The total gross storage available in the Narmada dam Wednesday was 4,186.69 MCM.
Dams in North Gujarat had just 11.45 per cent water. A total of 15 dams in North Gujarat have a total gross storage capacity of 1929.29 Million Cubic Metres (MCM), out of which the current gross storage is 220.87 MCM. North Gujarat has recorded a deficit of 253.06MCM as compared to the gross storage in the 15 dams last year.
Similarly, 17 dams in Central Gujarat have 32.61 per cent water storage available with 760.03 MCM. Last year, Central Gujarat had 1,087.75 MCM water storage on June 29. In Kutch, a total of 20 dams had 19.70 per cent storage Wednesday. Saurashtra’s 141 dams have collective gross storage of 22.99 per cent.
In South Gujarat, however, 13 dams are filled up to 41.81 per cent with 3606.38 MCM gross storage–140.86 MCM higher than June 29, 2021.
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