It is a well-known proverb that “Little drops of water make a mighty ocean”. However, with reference to Gujarat’s Kalpasar Project, the proverb will soon be rephrased to “Little drops of water make a mighty dam!” Shri Narendra Modi has worked tirelessly over many years to address the issues of water scarcity and make this project a huge success. With his mission of “Per Drop, More Crop”, the State of Gujarat eagerly awaits to create another global landmark!
The journey of aiming to create the world’s largest manmade freshwater reservoir by constructing a 30 km long dam in the Gulf of Khambhat is indeed worth recollecting.
Gujarat has been a water scarce State with 70% of the water resources available in 25% of the geographical area. Saurashtra in particular has been a region with water shortage for agricultural land. Additionally, the water storage capacity in Gujarat is quite lower that the rainwater availability. To meet these challenges, the idea of storing 10,000 MCM (million cubic metre) additional rainwater by developing a freshwater reservoir in the Gulf of Khambhat came up.
There are several benefits foreseen as an outcome of the Kalpasar Project. Some of them are as following:
Nearly 10.54 ha. Land in 39 talukas of 6 districts of Saurashtra region will be provided with irrigation facilities.
The increase in irrigation intensity will be upto 46% as compared to the current increase of 19%.
The travel distance between Bhavnagar and Surat is expected to decrease leading to better connectivity to the faster growing city of Surat.
The land which gets frequently submerged in the periphery of Gulf of Khambhat will be reclaimed.
The development of land with Kalpasar Project will also enhance accessibility to other projects such as Dholera SIR and Delhi- Mumbai Industrial Corridor
The saline ground water will be converted to sweet water leading in improved quality of water for drinking and agricultural purposes.
The pumping of irrigation water will be done with the renewable resource of Wind Energy.
Lastly, with the development of fisheries along the coastline, it is estimated that direct employment to nearly 1,00,000 beneficiaries will be provided.
The absolute perseverance of the Gujarat Government led by Shri Narendra Modi is evident from the comprehensive surveys undertaken by various international and national agencies. The surveys have so far assessed more than 30 aspects of the feasibility of the project such as topography, impact of tide and current on ports, quality check of rivers, impact on mangroves and marine life etc. The feasibility study conducted by National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai is likely to be completed by the end of 2013 and the project is therefore expected to commence by next year.
Recently, at the Saurashtra Narmada Jal Avtaran Jan Jagruti Mahayagya, Shri Modi stated that the construction of Bhadbhut barrage in Bharuch district will preserve Narmada water on the land by constructing a canal with connectivity to Kalpasar. The barrage will be 11km long located near the mouth of Narmada River. He also added that 80% of the feasibility reports of the project have been accomplished so far.
Looking at the grandeur, the scale and impact of the Kalpasar Project, one would surely agree to Shri Narendra Modi’s recent affirmation, “Kalpasar Yojana has the capability to solve Gujarat’s water problems for the next 100 years!”