GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Wednesday assured that the state has adequate water stored in the Narmada dam to meet the requirement of drinking water this summer.
Despite the low rainfall in the catchment areas of neighbouring state, this was made possible due to the closed gates of the dam, which could fill more water during this monsoon season, he told media persons here.
About a fortnight after the Gujarat government came out with a notification advising the farmers to stop sowing for the summer season due to inadequate water in the Narmada for irrigation purposes, Patel said that though this was true, there was no issue of concern as far as drinking water is concerned.
"The state has adequate amount of water for drinking purposes to last till July end. Despite the command areas in Madhya Pradesh which reduced the inflow of waters into the Narmada reservoir from 12-18,000 cusecs to around one to 3,000 cusecs, we could have enough waters for the entire Rabi crop. This was made possible due to the closure of the dam gates by which we could store more water this year and which was helpful even in the Rabi season irrigation," he said.
"The waters which are being presently provided for the Rabi crops will continue till the March 15. Thereafter we will have to curtail the supply to store water for the entire summer season due to the decreased inflow. The reserved stock of water will be adequate for 4 crore people till July end. The curtailment will be only for the summer season of crops, which normally the farmers don't even opt for due to other reasons," he added.
The state government has always drawn flak from the opposition and others regarding Narmada waters being utilized to fill up the dried-up Sabarmati river at the riverfront portion.
To this, Patel also said that even during good rainy seasons in Madhya Pradesh, surplus one million acre feet water was supplied to canals in north, central and Saurashtra regions of the state, which includes some water being released into the Sabarmati riverfront.