The Gujarat government has declared another 468 villages of parched Saurashtra and Kutch region as ‘partially scarcity-hit’, taking the total number of such villages reeling under acute water crisis, to nearly 1,000.
In addition to the 526 villages which has been put in the red zone in beginning of the month, the state government has added 468 villages in the list through an official notification issued on Tuesday, taking the total number at 994.
The government action comes after it faced flak from Supreme Court on late declaration of affected villages as scarcity hit due to deficient rainfall in the state.
On Tuesday, Supreme Court had chided Gujarat government for submitting a note instead of an affidavit on the drought situation and directed it to file a detailed affidavit by April 21.
"Why have you not filed affidavit ? Don’t take things so lightly, just because you’re Gujarat doesn’t mean you can do whatever you like," the apex court had observed.
Among the 468 villages, 301 villages are in Kutch district, 64 in Porbandar, 56 in Jamnagar and 47 in Devbhoomi-Dwarka district, stated the notification issued by the state Revenue Department.
Earlier, state government has declared 526 villages of three districts as partially scarcity-hit. Out of these 526 villages, 157 are of Rajkot, 288 are of Jamnagar and 82 villages are of Devbhoomi-Dwarka district.
State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, who heads a sub-committee of minister for the assessment of scarcity, assured that government will take all necessary steps to provide adequate water as well as cattle fodder in these villages.
"These villages will be provided all necessary help on priority basis. Government will recharge as well as build new hand-pumps and bore-wells in these villages in order to ease their problems. If nothing works, we will provide water through tankers," said Chudasama.
State Water Supply Minister Vijay Rupani assured that people will not face any problem till June 15, when Gujarat is expected to gets its first showers.
"Government has made fool-proof planning to see that no one suffers from water scarcity. We are reviewing the situation every week to provide all the necessary help to parched regions. I want to assure people that they will not face any problem till June 15," said Rupani.