Irrigation supply from Narmada, other dams halted

By Times Of India on 17 Mar 2018 | read
GANDHINAGAR: From midnight on March 15, the state government’s decision to stop irrigation water supply to 34 lakh hectares of farmland from the Sardar Sarovar canal and other canals has been implemented. On March 15, the last 10,000 cusecs was released from the Narmada dam for irrigation and drinking water. On March 16, it was cut to about 3,000 cusecs, adequate only for drinking water.
Parabat Patel, minister of state (MoS) for irrigation, water supply (independent charge), said, “Though there is demand of continuing irrigation supply, it is not possible as we have only enough water to meet demand for drinking water. Apprehending this likely crisis and the need to reserve water for summer, we had informed famers publicly that the government will not supply irrigation water after March 15, so they were not stuck in the lurch.”

For the rabi crop (before March 15) the state government provided irrigation to 34 lakh hectares. It had announced that no further water would be provided for the summer crop. A senior agriculture department officer said, “For the rabi crop, the state government provided irrigation water from various sources. This time, it’s not possible for the government to provide irrigation for the summer crop due to shortage of drinking water. We hope there will be summer sowing on around 8.5 lakh to 10 lakh hectares, by those who have local groundwater or surface water sources.”

The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) supplies irrigation water to around 12 lakh hectares in some 1,00,000 villages along with drinking water. Though there will be no irrigation water available, the government says it will provide drinking water to these villages.