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Sujalam Sufalam Jal Abhiyan: Gujarat’s water conservation drive gets monsoon boost

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani addressed the media on Sunday on the success of SSJA, while adding that the campaign is part of a multi-pronged effort of the state government to transform Gujarat from a water-deficit state to a water-surplus one.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar (gujarat) | Updated: September 2, 2019 4:58:55 am
This year, the state has received around 95% of the season’s rain, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Sunday. (File)

The Sujalam Sufalam Jal Abhiyan (SSJA) launched by the state government in 2018 has bore fruits this year due to good monsoon, as out of the 12,279 ponds deepened under the campaign in the last two summer season, 9,700 have been completely filled up this year resulting in increase of ground water level of five to seven feet in the respective areas.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani addressed the media on Sunday on the success of SSJA, while adding that the campaign is part of a multi-pronged effort of the state government to transform Gujarat from a water-deficit state to a water-surplus one.

Under the campaign, which was launched in 2018, the state undertook various tasks of water conservation like deepening of village ponds, desilting of check dams, cleaning of canals etc. on a public-private-partnership basis.

Addressing the mediapersons here, Rupani said due to poor monsoon, the results envisaged under the campaign could not be realised last year.

“However, this year the state has received around 95% of the season’s rain. And due to the state government’s prior planning, most of the ponds which were deepened and the check dams de-silted have been filled up with fresh water. Besides, the ground water level in those areas has increased by five to seven feet,” said Rupani. He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Chief Secretary J N Singh and other top officials of the state government.

As per the details provided, 30,416 works related to water conservation were completed in the last two years under the SSJA campaign. This increased water storage capacity in the state by 23,553 lakh cubic feet. These works included deepening of 12,279 ponds and desilting of 5,775 check dams. Out of them, 9,700 ponds and 4,600 check dams have been completely filled up with fresh water. Also, the campaign generated employment of 100 lakh man days.

So far, owing to the SSJA, Gujarat could witness additional water storage of around 18,000 lakh cubic feet.

Rupani said that Gujarat has been standing first in the Niti Ayog’s Composite Water Management Index for the past three years and SSJA played a key role in it.

The CM also said that with the SSJA campaign bearing fruits, water scarcity for domestic purpose and for the livestock of more than 14,000 villages has been resolved at the local level. And due to the increased water level in village wells, less electricity will be consumed, he added. Moreover, the earth dug out from ponds and check dams was provided to farmers which has renewed the fields, the chief minister said.

Hailing the SSJA campaign, Rupani also said that it is part of the state government’s multi-pronged efforts in the direction of sustainable development and making Gujarat a water surplus state. Rupani indicated that after attaining the goal of becoming a water surplus state, Gujarat will think about round-the-clock water supply in the state with water metres. For that Gandhinagar city has been selected as a pilot project where 24*7 water supply will be provided through water metres.

Narmada waters channelised

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that the flood water of Narmada is being channelised to Saurashtra and North Gujarat regions. Rupani also said that the Sardar Sarovar Dam is likely to be filled at its maximum height by September.

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