In a bid to find an alternate source to meet its drinking water needs, the Gujarat government is hopeful of shaping up the detailed project report (DPR) of its ambitious Kalpsar project by the year end.
The state is likely to face a water crisis this summer apparently due to its over dependence on the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river.
Kalpsar, a project that envisages to harness water of seven rivers flowing in the sea by building a dam in the Gulf of Khambhat, is being seen as a viable alternative to the Sardar Sarovar Dam, to cater to the state's water requirement.
"Kalpsar is a unique and one-of-its-kind project. Before starting the project, various studies are required to be completed," Gujarat chief minister's adviser on water management, B N Navalawala, told PTI.
"We are hopeful that all the studies will be completed soon and we will be able to make a detailed project report for Kalpsar by the end of this year," he said.
The idea for the Kalpsar project was mooted by water experts in the 1980s and around 43 studies have been conducted so far to look into the project's feasibility, environmental and financial impact and other aspects.
"When we are building one of the world's biggest fresh water reservoir in the sea, the time taken for various studies for the project is justified," Navalawala said.
Due to less rainfall in catchment areas of the Narmada river, Gujarat is staring at a water crisis this summer as it has got only 45 per cent of water in the Sardar Sarovar Dam than what it gets in normal monsoon years.
The state government recently asked farmers to skip sowing summer crops as it would not be able to provide irrigation water.
It also asked the administration of various cities and villages dependent on the Narmada for drinking purpose to explore local sources.
The proposed Kalpsar dam is supposed to form the world's largest fresh water reservoir in the sea, with a 30-km long dam on the Gulf of Khambhat, which will store more than 10,000 million cubic meters of the surface water, as per the Gujarat's government's website on the project.
The project proposes to harness the water of rivers Narmada, Mahi, Dhadhar, Sabarmati, Limbdi-Bhagovo and two other small rivers in the Saurahtra region, it said.
There is no suitable site of land available in the state for the creation of a river valley project to store surplus/ untapped surface water, it said.
In such a scenario, the Gulf of Khambhat is an eligible option to create a reservoir by construction of a Gulf closure dam which can store about 10,000 million cubic meters water inflows of the rivers, as per the website.
The creation of this fresh water reservoir does not involve any land acquisition or rehabilitation of people, and will serve as a lifeline of the Saurashtra region as well as an accelerator for the growing economic activities of the state, it said.
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