The Gujarat government on Wednesday declared six more tehsils across three districts “scarcity-hit” due to deficient rainfall this monsoon, The Indian Express reported. The number of such tehsils is now 16.
Vav, Suigam, Kankrej and Tharad in Banaskantha district, Chanasma in Patan district and Mandal in Ahmedabad district are the tehsils to be added the scarcity-hit list. Last week, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had declared all 10 tehsils in Kutch district scarcity-hit.
The decision to add six more tehsils under the category of “scarcity-hit” was taken during the first meeting of a sub-committee of ministers formed to review availability of water in the state.
“These 16 tehsils have received less than 125 mm rainfall this monsoon,” said Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel who chaired the first meeting of the cabinet sub-committee. “We will be starting work related to scarcity from October 1,” Patel said.
Patel said the sub-committee will meet every Wednesday to review the situation and suggest steps to tackle the water scarcity situation in affected regions, PTI reported. Ministers and senior officials of the revenue, labour and employment, agriculture, water resources and animal husbandry departments will take part in the weekly meetings.
This monsoon, Gujarat has received just 76.61% of the average rainfall. The deficiency is highest in Kutch district, receiving only 26.51% of annual average rainfall.
“We are in the process of filling the Tapar dam [located in Kutch district] with Narmada water…” Patel said. “Steps are being taken to ensure that Narmada water is being released to save the kharif crop is not stolen en route. The chief minister had yesterday (Tuesday) drawn the attention of both the water supply and the home departments regarding the issue and both these departments will begin work at the local level to ensure that water is not stolen,” he said.
According to the weather department, the possibility of rainfall next week is low. “Rains are less likely after Sunday,” said Jayanta Sarkar, director of Meteorological Centre in Ahmedabad. “Some of the bordering areas to Madhya Pradesh are likely to receive rains due to a deep depression,” DNA quoted Sarkar as saying.