Blue Revolution to end Kutch’s thirst

By Times Of India on 10 May 2018
RAJKOT: Much before the dried up Narmada, touted to be ‘Gujarat’s Lifeline’, forced the state government to launch the Sujalam-Sufalam water rejuvenation programme, the industries in Kutch had already embarked on an ambitious project aimed at transforming the arid district from ‘water scarce to water surplus.’

The Federation of Kutch Industries Association (Fokia), the umbrella organization of all industries set up in Kutch after the 2001 earthquake, have implemented ‘Project Blue Revolution’, a massive Rs 3,200-crore initiative to find new water sources, recharge existing groundwater tables, find new sources, encourage water harvesting and storing surface water.




Under the project, all 900 villages of the district have been mapped using satellite imagery with the help of the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) to get details of water harvesting potential, surface water rejuvenation, etc.

In fact, the underground water tables of 40 arid villages of Mundra, Mandvi and Abdasa talukas have gone up considerably in the past two years after the project was implemented.

Moreover, planning for 400 villages has already been completed and groundwater management has started in 150 others located in Rapar, Mundra, Mandvi and Gandhidham talukas. So far, Fokia has spent Rs 10 crore on this project. The groundwater management includes recharging borewells, change in seeds, promotion of new variety of crops, soil moisture conservation and promoting crops that consume less water.


Also, several industries like Welspun have increased their captive water availability by 125 million litre per day by storing surface water, thus reducing dependency on traditional sources and Narmada. This was done with a total investment of Rs 690 crore.


Of the total project cost, nearly 40% will be contributed by the industries while Fokia is looking at government’s contribution for the rest.


Nimish Phadke, managing director, Fokia said, “We have submitted our detailed plan to chief minister Vijay Rupani and are happy that the government has also launched the Sujalam-Sufalam programme on similar lines. We are now keenly waiting for government to implement the water recycle policy. If we get government funding according to the plan submitted and receive just average rainfall every year, chances are bright that Kutch will become a water surplus district in next 7-8 years.”