Gujarat has started using the dead water of the Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia, about 100 kilometres from here, since yesterday to meet the state’s drinking water requirements, chief secretary JN Singh said.
Dead water of a dam is the water that is at a level where it has to be pumped or lifted.
Singh told PTI that the move follows a directive by the Narmada Control Authority which on February 9 allowed the state to use the dam’s dead water if the water levels dropped below 110.64 metres.
“Now there is no problem as far as drinking water is concerned in the state,” he said.
He informed that the storage in the Sardar Sarovar Dam had fallen by 45 per cent, the lowest in the last 15 years, mainly due to a poor monsoon in Madhya Pradesh.
Besides Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are the project’s two other beneficiary states.
“Usually, Gujarat receives about 9 million acre feet (MAF) of water. Of this, 0.20 MAF is supplied for industrial use. However, this year, the state has received only 4.71 MAF water and we have limited the water for industrial use to 0.06 MAF,” Singh said.
“The drinking water allocation remains intact and the remaining is for irrigation,” Singh added.
He said that a 1450 mega watt hydro-electric power station on the dam had been shut in order to use the water solely for drinking purposes.
As much as 57% of electricity generated by the dam is supplied to Madhya Pradesh, 27% to Maharashtra and 16% to Gujarat.
SS Rathore, chairman and managing director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) told PTI that it would continue to provide water for irrigation till March 15 as per the norms of the Sardar Sarovar Reservoir Regulatory Committee.