The empty dams of Saurashtra and Kutch regions will be filled up with Narmada water, as the Sardar Sarovar dam across the Narmada river is brim-full this year following good rainfall, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Sunday.
“Due to good rainfall, Narmada dam has been filled up to its capacity and therefore, those dams in Saurashtra and Kutch which are empty will be filled up with water,” an official release from the state information department quoted Rupani as saying.
The CM was addressing a farmers’ workshop called Krushi Maha Shibir in Visavadar town of Junagadh district on Sunday. It was organised jointly by the Gujarat State Cooperative Bank, Junagadh District Cooperative Bank and Keshubhai Patel Agriculture Produce Market Committee, Visavadar.
Incidentally, the water level in Sardar Sarovar, popularly known as Narmada dam, crossed 132 metres on Saturday, while the full reservoir level is 138.68 metres. On Sunday, the dam’s water level was 132.59 metres with gross storage of 7,563.90 million cubic metre (mcm) of water, data available with the Narmada, Water Resources, Water Supply and Kalpasar department of the state government showed. The data showed that the dam was almost 80 per cent full.
On the other hand, 139 major dams in water-starved Saurashtra region has an average 52 per cent storage. A number of dams in Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Amreli, Bhavnagar etc are almost dry even though the overall storage in the region has improved since very heavy rainfall around a week ago.
The state government is executing Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Yojana (SAUNI) project which aims to divert 1,233 mcm floodwaters, which otherwise drains into the sea after overflowing Narmada dam, to Saurashtra by the existing network of the Narmada dam project and then lift and pump it to 115 dams through SAUNI pipelines.
On Sunday, Rupani said that the state government was on the verge of completing the SAUNI project, thus setting the stage for filling up of dams in Saurashtra. “Work is in progress for the fourth and last phase of this project. The Rs 16,000-crore project will supply Narmada water for irrigation and for drinking purpose. The state government is moving towards making drought a thing of past,” Rupani said while addressing farmers in Visavadar.
The CM also said that Narmada water will be released in the water infrastructure created in north Gujarat under Sujalam-Sufalam Yojana.
While asserting that the state government had done concrete planning for ushering in an agricultural revolution by supplying Narmada water to agricultural fields in the state, Rupani also urged farmers of Saurashtra and Kutch to adopt micro-irrigation practices to conserve water and take more crops from the same amount of water available to them. The CM also assured farmers that their pending applications for agricultural power connections in Saurashtra and Kutch regions will be cleared at the earliest.