Gujarat stares at deficient rains

The highest rainfall in the state has been recorded in the Saurashtra district of Gir Somnath (131% of normal) and South Gujarat district of Navsari (91%), while lowest is in districts of Kutch (11%) and Surendranagar (20%) so far. PTI file photo

Gujarat that witnessed fair amount of rains in the first two phases, even flooding, now seems to be staring at deficient rainfall this season.

“Currently we are supplying drinking water through dams and canals but monsoon is the only way for irrigation in the state and if the rains are not adequate, going forward the situation could turn tough,” Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. “The Met department has forecast more rains and we pray to God for good rains.”

He also expressed fear that if the situation does not change, the water for irrigation could be curtailed as rains have been deficient in most parts of the state, barring South Gujarat and parts of Saurashtra. The impact of the lower water availability was felt by Cooperation Minister Kunvarji Bavaliya, who was gheraoed by a group of farmers outside collector’s office in Surendranagar. The farmers have been petitioning for more water to be released for irrigation in their region.

So far, the state has received 54% deficit from the normal 831 mm. For the North Gujarat region, the rainfall deficit is about 72 per cent, in Kutch region the deficit is 89 per cent till date as on August 6, 2018.

The highest rainfall in the state has been recorded in the Saurashtra district of Gir Somnath (131% of normal) and South Gujarat district of Navsari (91%), while lowest is in districts of Kutch (11%) and Surendranagar (20%) so far.

This has led to lower level of water storage in state’s 203 dams in the state. The state government data suggests that of the 203 dams, 81 dams have storage of less than 25% of water capacity, with 56 other dams full only up to 50% of their storage capacity. Last year in the corresponding period, the dams in the state were full at an average 58.58% of their water storage capacity.

Narmada dam in South Gujarat too only has 37% water of its gross storage due to lower rains in the catchment areas in Madhya Pradesh.

The North Gujarat and Kutch regions are the key growing regions in the state for crops as cotton, groundnut, paddy, castor and millet, besides vegetables. The castor heartland region of North Gujarat this year has seen sowing in only 15,200 hectares against 48,500 hectares around same time last year.

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Gujarat stares at deficient rains

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