As rains continue to elude Gujarat in the second week of July, the state government is all braced up to handle the situation with regular supply of drinking water and fodder for cattle. The state government has so far disbursed 1,150 tonnes fodder at subsidised rates in 244 villages of Kutch district while 151 tankers are engaged in supplying drinking water to 202 villages across the state on daily basis. The state government is also encouraging farmers to go in for fodder cultivation as it would prove beneficial in case the rains get delayed further beyond July 15. Regular coordination meetings are being held between various departments to get updates on ground level situation. In south Gujarat and Saurashtra region, the state government has temporarily halted supply of water for irrigation purpose from major dams and have reserved it for drinking water needs. According to Commissioner of relief operations D N Pandey as many as 203 villages in Kutch district have been declared semi-scarcity hit. “These 203 villages along with 41 others of Banni region, which is also part of Kutch district are being provided with fodder. Besides this as many as 202 village including 96 from Kutch, 16 in north Gujarat, 18 in south Gujarat and 72 in Saurashtra region are being supplied water through tankers,” explained Pandey. The fodder is being given at a subsidised rate of Rs 2 per kg. “For each cattle 4 kg fodder is provided per day with a cap of five cattle per household. Till date we have disbursed 11.5 lakh kg (1,150 tonnes) fodder,” Pandey said, adding that they still had stock of 2,500 tonnes of fodder for the coming days. He further said that they were also encouraging farmers to go for fodder cultivation as rain was being delayed further.
Currently the fodder is being distributed to small and marginal farmers at the subsidised rates. With regard to drinking water supply Pandey said that as many as 151 tankers are engaged in supplying water to 202 village by doing 661 rounds every day. He also said that there was enough water reserve as of now in the state. “The live storage of dams in the state was 25 per cent. Which means that this 25 per cent can be utilised or released from dams,” Pandey explained. The gross storage capacity of all major dams in the state is 21,014.94 million cubic meter (mcm). On Tuesday it stood at 8,864.69 mcm, as per data released by the Narmada, Water Resources, Water Supply and Kalpasar Department of the Gujarat government. This is 42.18 per cent of the gross storage capacity of the major dams including the Sardar Sarovar Project on river Narmada.