People in Dewas may or may not have taken a holy dip at Simhastha Kumbh, but they are certainly benefitting from the Narmada-Shipra link that has been operationalised to ensure adequate water in Shipra river during the month-long fair in Ujjain.
Every summer, Dewas town and neighbouring industrial areas suffer from acute water shortage as tube-wells run dry and the water supply from a project build on build-operate- transfer (BOT) model, fails to meet the demand.
This year, however, the situation is different. “There is no water scarcity in Dewas, both in the industrial and residential areas, this summer. With water filled to the brim in Shipra Dam, about 8 km from Dewas, the water table in the region has gone up and most tube-wells have been recharged,” said Dewas industry association president Ashok Khandelia.
“The piped supply is also about 3.5 MLD (million litres a day) and the rest of the demand is met through tube-wells. As a result, the industry is not depending on water tankers to meet its need,” he said.
Before the Narmada-Shipra Link project became operational, water level in Shipra dam used to recede to about 8m by March end, while at present, Shipra dam is filled to its full capacity of 14m.
Dewas is home to multinational corporations, including Tata International, Gabriel, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles and John Deere. Dewas also has a concentration of soya processing plants and also boasts of several auto ancillary units.
The first BOT water supply project in India was set up on the Narmada River at Nemawar and water was ferried from more than 90km, has been plagued by technical glitches. Instead of 30 MLD (million litres per day) of water, the project is able to supply only about 5 MLD.
The state cabinet has approved a project to build a pipeline for Dewas from Narmada-Khsipra project. The project, with a capacity to supply 30 MLD, is expected to become operational in a year’s time.
Officials associated with the Narmada-Kshipra link project say that supplying water to Dewas industry from this project will be much economical as compared to increasing the capacity of Nemawar project.