With good rains, Gujarat hopes to fill Narmada dam to 131m

Gandhinagar, Aug 7 (IANS) The Gujarat government on Wednesday said that it hopes to fill up the Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam up to its permissible height of 131 metres in view of water release from Madhya Pradesh after good rains in the neighbouring state.

"The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has given us the permission to fill the Sardar Sarovar Dam up to 131 metres height. Looking at the good rains in MP and with more rainfall likely there, we are hopeful of filling the dam up to that level," Deputy Chief Minster Nitin Patel told reporters here.

"Right now, water in the dam has covered the levels of the closed gates of the dam by six metres and the level is at 127.90 metres," he said.

Patel said as the Narmada river waters on the Madhya Pradesh side and in reservoirs there could not be stored beyond the permissible limit, the neighbouring state would have to release water.

"They will have to release extra water in the river through which the dam can be filled at its maximum. Normal rainy season in MP is in August and September, so we are hopeful," he added.

"If we receive more waters beyond the permissible height of the dam, we will have to ask permission from the NCA. For the last couple of days, we have even had income of around 2 lakh cusecs water daily."

Patel said the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday also decided to release waters through the SAUNI and Sujalam Sufalam schemes of piped waters to the Saurashtra region, where scanty rains were reported.

"We have had many representations from the farmers and so to save their crops, we have decided to fill up around 400 lakes and ponds in such areas through Sujalam Sufalam and SAUNI schemes," he saidl.

Patel also said that "heavy to very heavy rains" are expected during the week ahead.

"Torrential rainfall is expected on the (August) 9th and 10th, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). We have deployed teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) at vulnerable positions and also alerted the administration regarding the same. We are fully prepared for the situation," he said.

He said that almost all the water clogged areas in Vadodara and Rajkot, which received very heavy rains during the last few days, had been cleared. "Only 50-odd areas where normal traffic and transportation were affected, is mopping-up to be completed. Our Roads & Building (R&B) department officials are working on it," Patel said.

"For compensation, we have instructed that cash doles were released directly to the affected people where the online systems have been disrupted," he added.

--IANS

desai/vd

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