Maharashtra in tears,Gujarat shows way on water conservation

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New Delhi, March 20: With the summer on horizon, the Gujarat Government plans to fill up 115 dams and rivers with Narmada waters. But the water movement is now being led by the people and a month-long save water campaign is beginning from April 1.

The Surat-based Saurashtra Jaldhara Trust is organising the Saurashtra Narmada Jal Avataran Janjagriti Mahayagna campaign. They have collected nearly Rs 200 crore to provide JCB machines, cement and other material to the 2,000 village-level Jalsanchay Samitis for sinking new tube-wells and bore-wells for common use.

As the neighbouring Maharashtra's faces its worst drought in 40 years, the state of Gujarat is gearing up to conserve water. During the massive campaign about 55,000 volunteers of the campaign will fan out for a month from April 1 and hold over 2,500 public meetings across the villages to create public awareness on how to save water.

The campaign will include water collection, popularising use of drip-and-sprinkler irrigation across fields, dismantling unusable and very deep bore-wells and tube-wells, optimum use of Narmada water and working on the proposed Kalpsar Project for creating a sweet-water reservoir in the Gulf of Cambay.

About five lakh people will gather in Rajkot district on May 5 to participate in a massive "yagna" at the end of the month-long save-water campaign. The yagna will be held at Bhadar dam in village Deola of Gondal taluka in Rajkot district.

The Saurashtra region once faced endless series of droughts for almost three decades. In 1998-99, drinking water was being transported in trains from Gandhinagar to Jamnagar, a distance of more than 400 km.

But since 2000 the the area has become self-sufficient due to to lakhs of check dams. Over two lakh check dams were constructed in the last two decades to prevent wastage of precious rainwater.

These check-dam have contributed to 11 per cent growth in agriculture in the last few years. The save water campaign will cover nearly 5000 villages in Saurashtra region.

OneIndia News

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