With parts of Gujarat, especially Saurashtra, facing severe water scarcity, the budget for Gujarat Water Supply & Sewerage Board’s (GWSSB) master plan for drought mitigation has been increased by 160 per cent from Rs 70 crore to Rs 183 crore.
The GWSSB is responsible for water supply to the water-scarce areas and its main source is Narmada river.
“Presently, Saurashtra region is facing severe water shortage. And, for that GWSSB has been working round the clock while implementing a master plan for drought mitigation. Its budget has increased from initial Rs 70 crore to Rs 183 crore due to worsening of water scarcity,” said a government official associated with the development.
Banaskantha and Kutch districts are also facing severe water scarcity. The increased budget of GWSSB’s drought mitigation plan is mainly for providing water through tankers, repairing of hand-pumps, and digging or deepening bore wells.
As per official data, the areas where GWSSB’s water network grid is not installed are being provided water through tankers. Currently, the GWSSB is providing water to 490 villages in 22 districts. In all, 662 water tankers are doing 3,086 rounds everyday.
Recently, the GWSSB installed a booster pumping station at Hadala in Rajkot at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore to augment water supply by 60 million per day to four districts of Saurashtra.
The Gujarat government has also initiated a number of steps for drought mitigation like opening cattle camps and providing fodder for livestock at concessional rates. The government has declared 1,115 villages in Kutch, Banaskantha, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Devbhumi Dwarka and Porbandar districts as semi-drought affected or water scarcity affected.
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