With many parts of Gujarat reeling under acute water scarcity, chief minister Anandiben Patel on Thursday attributed the situation to “inaction” on part of previous governments, an apparent reference to Congress.
“As previous governments did not pay enough attention to the issue of water conservation it has led to the situation of scarcity today,” Patel alleged while inaugurating ‘Krishi Mahotsav’ 2016 for South Gujarat region at Navsari.
Interestingly, BJP has been ruling Gujarat since 1995.
On the occasion, she told a gathering of farmers that ground water level has touched a new low in recent times, especially in north Gujarat region.
Without taking Congress’ name, the CM said, “Had the previous governments paid attention to water conservation, we would not have been facing this problem (of scarcity) today. Ground water levels have dipped drastically. Earlier, water was available at 10 feet, which went down to 50, 100 and even 200 feet over years.”
Underlining the gravity of the situation, Patel said in North Gujarat region, people are not getting water even at 1.000 or 1,200 feet.
“Previous governments should have realised this problem that time. They should have taken steps to introduce new techniques of conserving water and educate farmers in that direction,” Patel water.
The CM claimed that no such exercise was undertaken by the previous governments.
“No such work was done by previous governments in this direction. They just went on digging new bore-wells. That is why we are now facing this problem of scarcity today,” she alleged.
Patel also called for judicious use of natural resources to overcome adverse effects of global warming and stressed the need for drip irrigation-based farming.
The government has so far declared a total of 1,115 villages across Gujarat as ‘partially scarcity-hit’ due to acute shortage of water owing to deficient rainfall in last monsoon.
As per government, all 203 dams in the state had approximately 20% water of their total storage capacity.