India

Dry spell continues: Gujarat CM orders release of water from dams to save crops

As lull in the monsoon rain is getting stretched with every passing day, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani Tuesday decided to immediately release water from dams or reservoirs for irrigation purpose to save standing crops in the state, said an official release. The CM has ordered the release of the water while reserving the water stock for drinking purpose in dams or reservoirs for the period up to September, the release added.

The release said that the CM has taken the “sensitive” decision in the interest of farmers to save their standing crops owing to stretching dry spell in monsoon.

“While reserving the water stock for drinking purpose in dams/reservoirs for the period upto September 30, the CM has given instructions to water resources department to release remaining water with immediate effect to save standing crop of farmers,” it said.

As per the release, five lakh hectare land of the state government will be benefitted by this decision.

It added that out of the 141 dams of Suarashtra, the water for irrigation purpose will be given from 88 dams catering to 60,000 hectare land. In North Gujarat, water will be given from Dharoi dam covering 15,000 hectare land.

In Central Gujarat, Mahi river’s command area will be provided 6,000 cusec water from Kadana reservoir. Also, water will be provided to irrigate 2.10 lakh hectare land from 11 reservoirs including Panam. In South Gujarat, 1.10 lakh hectare land will get water for irrigation from six reservoirs of the region. Owing to the stretched dry spell in the state during peak monsoon season, a number of farmers are worried even as dams and groundwater resources have not been replenished to irrigate their crops.

The storage capacity of dams in Gujarat is also less than the corresponding figure of last year. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel too has earlier this month expressed concern over the lull in rain during the monsoon season and less water level in Sardar Sarovar or Narmada dam which is the main source of water for Gujarat.

In July, the CM had decided to provide electricity to agriculturists for two additional hours while making it available to them for 10 hours instead of eight hours.

Meanwhile, the Weather Watch Group of the state government Tuesday organized a webinar. It was held under the leadership of Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Kamal Dayani and Relief Commissioner Ardra Agarwal. Giving details of the webinar, an official release said that till August 10 this year, Gujarat has witnessed 305 mm rain which is 36.31% of the average of past 30 years (840 mm). Quoting official of IMD, the release said that in coming days there is possibility of light to moderate rain in South Gujarat. It also stated that the dams of Gujarat have currently 48.26% water storage of its total water storage capacity.

The webinar was attended by officials of various departments and organisations of the state.


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