Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first phase of the SAUNI yojana (Saurashtra Narmada Avataran for Irrigation) in Gujarat. The aim of the project is to solve the water problem in dry Saurashtra.
In the first phase of the project, nearly 10 dams and reservoirs of Rajkot, Jamnagar and Morbi will be filled up with the water of Narmada river. Modi launched this scheme in 2012 who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat. It is Modi’s dream scheme of Rs. 12,000 crore. The project involves filling up 115 dams with excess water from the Sardar Sarovar dam.
All about SAUNI Yojana
The State Government allotted 1 MAFT (million acre feet) excess over flowing flood water of Narmada to Saurashtra. The excess over flowing water will be distributed to 115 reservoirs of eleven districts of that region through 1126 km long four link pipelines. This will be benefitted 10, 22, 589 acres land. The diameters of the pipes are 3m to 500 mm and the pipelines are underground. The pumping stations are constructed in the government land.
The four pipeline links are: Link 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Link 1: This link will start from the Machuu II dam of Morbi district and have carrying capacity of 1200 cusecs of water to 30 reservoirs of Morbi, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Devbhoomi Dwarka districts. The link is 180 km long and 2, 02, 100 acres of land will be benefitted.
Link 2: The link will start from Limbdi Bhogavo-II Dam of Surendranagar District to Raidi Dam of Amreli Districts and have carrying capacity of1050 cusecs of water to 17 reservoirs of Botad, Bhavnagar and Amreli districts. This will benefit 2, 74, 700 acres of land.
Link 3: This will start from Dholidhaja Dam of Surendranagar District to Venu-I Dam of Rajkot District and have carrying capacity of 1200 cusecs of water to 28 reservoirs of Jamanagar, Rajkot, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Morbi, Porbandar and Surendranagar Districts. This will benefit 1, 98, 067 acres of land.
Link 4: This link will start from Limbdi Bhogavo-II Dam of Surendranagar District to Hiran-II Irrigation scheme of Junagadh and have carrying capacity of 1200 cusecs of water to 40 reservoirs of Surendranagar, Junagadh, Rajkot, Porbandar, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Botad Districts. This will benefit 3, 47, 722 acres of land.
According to Indian Express report, the water under this project will be pumped by the motors which mean a monthly electricity bill of Rs. 7.56 crore for the irrigation department. The fact is that using of motors may make the project expensive.