A water shortage is likely to hit around half-a-dozen districts in Rajasthan as the dilapidated Indira Gandhi Nahar Pariyojana (IGNP) is going to be closed for 20 days from Tuesday for repair.
The IGIP’s main canal will be closed after 15 years. The IGNP canal has a capacity of 18,000 cusecs water but the present capacity is only 9,800 cusecs due to long overdue repair work.
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje and water resources minister Kiran Maheshwari held video conferences with district collectors and public health engineering department (PHED) officials to take stock of preparedness of water supply during the closure.
The PHED and the district administration claimed water would be supplied once a day in urban areas and once in two days in rural areas and arrangements had been made to store water.
Ganganagar collector RS Jakhar said there would be no shortage of drinking water. “We have many minor canals where we have stored water for 20 days.”
In Jodhpur, water supply from Rajiv Gandhi Lift Canal to Jodhpur city and nearly 300 adjoining villages will be stopped.
There is only 35 feet water left in Takhtsagar reservoir. The water level in Kaylana reservoir is running at 48.70 feet against its capacity of 58 feet. According to the PHED, about 140 MCFT water is available in both the reservoirs but this quantity of water is only sufficient to meet the demands of Jodhpur city for six days.
Jodhpur collector Pritam B Yashwant said water would be stored in overheads of seven gates in the 215-km long canal during the closure and this water would be supplied to Jodhpur city.
Amarchand Gehlot, the PHED superintending engineer of Hanumangarh, said water supply would be cut from 70-75 litres per day per head to about 45 litres. In Jaisalmer too, water supply will be halved from 8 lakh litres to 4 lakh litres, he said.
Indira Gandhi canal project chief engineer in Bikaner Amerjeet Singh said water would be stored at several places of the canal to ensure regular drinking water supply to Jodhpur, Suratgarh, Anupgarh, Gharsana, Chatargarh, Khajuwala towns.
Bikaner PHED executive engineer VS Rathore said they had stored water in Shobhasar reservoir which has a capacity of 1,600 million litres. “We have enough water for 25-30 days,” he said.