In more bad news for parched Gujarat, the water storage in the Sardar Sarovar dam has fallen to almost one-third of its total capacity, the Legislative Assembly was told today.
As per the figures provided by the government during Question Hour in the ongoing Budget session, the water storage in the dam stood at 3,916 million cubic meter (MCM) in January 2018, almost one-third of its total holding capacity of 9,460 MCM, a fall of 763 MCM since December last.
Many villages in Gujarat are staring at an acute water crisis this summer due to depleted water stock in the Narmada dam.
As per the data, the 3916 MCM level is the lowest since February 2016 as the water level never fell below the 4,000 MCM mark.
The data was presented in the House by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who handles Narmada portfolio, in his reply to a query raised by Congress MLA Lakha Bharwad who had sought the status report of the dam water storage.
Though the water storage in the dam stood at 7,069 MCM in September 2017, the highest since February 2016, it fell to 3,916 MCM in January this year, which is a decrease of 3,153 MCM in just four months.
Responding to a query on the Narmada project-based 'Sauni Yojna', the government admitted that out of the total 115 dams in 11 districts under parched Saurashtra region, only 21 dams and reservoirs have been filled as on December 2017.
Under the ambitious Sauni scheme, the government plans to fill 115 dams of Saurashtra region with one million acre feet (MAFT) of excess water of the Sardar Sarovar dam.
Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani (Congress) told reporters that the BJP government "wasted" precious Narmada water for its publicity ahead of the Assembly polls in December last year.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, "Precious water was wasted by the ruling BJP so that their leaders can land on the Sabarmati river in a seaplane. Rajkot's Aji dam was filled under Sauni scheme for publicity. In Botad too, water was wasted because they wanted to inaugurate the Sauni scheme ahead of the election," he alleged.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)