April 14, 2016 5:44:38 am
With parts of Gujarat staring at acute water shortage, the state government has deployed four platoons of the State Reserve Police in four districts to guard Narmada Canal and check water theft from it. Addressing mediapersons on Wednesday, state Water Supply Minister Vijay Rupani said eight districts of Gujarat are facing water shortage and arrangements are being made to provide water to those districts. He, however, maintained that these districts are not facing “water scarcity” as per the criteria set by the central government. The Gujarat government has already declared around 1150 villages in different districts are affected by water shortage.
Rupani, also BJP’s state unit president, said a Cabinet sub-committee is keeping a close watch on the situation, besides Chief Minister Anandiben Patel reviewing the situation in every 15 days. The eight affected districts are Jamnagar, Devbhumi-Dwarka, Rajkot, Porbandar, Surendranagar, Dahod, Panchmahal and Amreli. “These eight districts require special care,” Rupani said. He said the main source of water supply to the affected villages is Narmada Canal, which caters to 11,000 villages and 613 urban centres.
Rupani said the government was taking all possible steps to stop water theft from the canal in Surendranagar, Morbi, Dahod and Botad. Four platoons of the SRP have been deployed for patrolling along the canal. “Teams of SRP and Water and Sanitation Management Organisation are checking the canal in these four districts,” Rupani said. Water is being provided to 500 villages through tankers, he said, adding that to deal with complaints of water shortage, his department had set up control rooms with toll-free numbers in all districts. “Since Apirl 1, around 85 complaints have received by those control rooms. And 60 of them have been redressed,” he said.
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