CHIEF MINISTER Vijay Rupani on Wednesday expressed concern over the delayed rains in several parts of Gujarat, and said the problem of water scarcity would be solved once and for all when the government’s proposed seawater desalination plant begins functioning.
The government is planning to construct the plant at Jodiya in Jamnagar, as a Public-Private-Partnership project at an estimated cost of Rs 700 crore.
Rupani made a statement in this regard during Question Hour in the Gujarat Assembly, when a discussion was underway on a question posed by Congress MLA from Jamjodhpur Chirag Kalariya. The MLA had sought details about the proposed desalination plant in Jamnagar district.
Water Resources minister Kuvarji Bavaliya provided details about the project. However, following a supplementary question by Congress MLA Lalit Kagathara on the issue, the chief minister made the statement.
Rupani said that the desalination plant would have the capacity to convert 10,000 crore litres of seawater into potable water everyday.
Under an agreement with a private company which has got the tender, the Gujarat government will buy water at the rate of Rs 57 per 1,000 litres.
“This way, we will get a litre at the rate of 5.7 paise,” said Rupani. “The government is not going to invest anything. The (private) company will invest Rs 700 crore, and the agreement with the company will be for a period of 25 years,” the chief minister added.
Rupani said that the government was planning to set up at least seven such plants in various parts of the state. He said that this is an action in the direction of getting the state past the problem of water scarcity forever, and so, cost was immaterial.
He said that various parts of Gujarat are yet to receive rain this year, and that desalination plants could be an effective measure to deal with the issue of water scarcity.