Gujarat in the grip of massive water shortage

first_imgWith rising mercury levels and a severe heat wave, there is a massive water crisis across Gujarat, particularly in the scarcity-hit Saurashtra region, Kutch, North Gujarat and parts of tribal pockets in central and South Gujarat.More than 20 districts in the State are severely affected. Towns and villages there hardly get water twice a week. In more than 500 villages in 14 districts, drinking water is being supplied through tankers and that number will only rise in the days to come.Recently, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani admitted that the State was in the midst of a major water shortage. He said that except for Narmada, all other water bodies and dams had negligible storage. “However, thanks to the Sardar Sarovar Dam and Narmada canal network, people will not face any difficulty till July-end. Water is available in the dam. The only challenge is to supply it to far flung areas, as many as 500 km away,” Mr. Rupani said after reviewing the situation.Subsequently, the State government asked the district administrations to send tankers to villages where water was not available.“After review and reports from local authorities, we have decided to send water to villages located in different districts by tankers, so that villages where local sources of water have dried up can get drinking water,” said Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.According to officials, the number of villages needing water tankers will only rise in the coming days due to the high temperatures.In Saurashtra region’s main city Rajkot, water is supplied only for 20 minutes a day. In many localities and societies located on the outskirts, supply is on alternate days or through tankers. Even in Jasdan, assembly constituency of Kuvarji Bavalia, Water Supplies Minister of Gujarat, shortage of drinking water has forced villagers to hold protests.Local legislators have made representations demanding adequate water supply in their areas where local sources of water have dried up. Narmada water is the only source now.“In my area, more than two dozen villages are facing acute shortage,” said Congress legislator Virji Thummar from Amreli district. “I have written to the minister and demanded that all villages be provided water through tankers and tanker trips doubled.”last_img

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