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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Rajasthan’s wasted waters: 2,687 MCM rain water lost this year

From 21 August to 30 August 2022, 2,687 MCM [millicubic metres] water was released into Uttar Pradesh from the Chambal river discharge point in Dholpur district. This water could have filled around 23 dams with storage capacity equivalent to the Kota Barrage dam.

Jaipur— The problem of water scarcity is very common in Rajasthan, which is famed for its desert terrain both in the country and abroad. The people who are struggling due to this water scarcity can be seen adopting a variety of measures to save rain water. From the management of water tanks to heritage stepwells and ponds and dam reservoirs. Despite the tradition of saving and preserving every drop of water since ancient times, even after so many efforts, during a good monsoon, a large amount of rain water is still wasted. In eastern Rajasthan, within 10 days, 2,687 MCMof water from Chambal and its tributaries flowed away. With this water, around 23 dams with the storage capacity of a dam like Kota-Barrage could have been fully filled up.

The Chambal river flowing through Karauli district of Rajasthan
The Chambal river flowing through Karauli district of Rajasthan

According to data from the Water Resources Department, from 21 August to 30 August 2022, 2,687 MCM water was released from the Chambal river discharge point in Dholpur district towards Uttar Pradesh. Had this water been saved, it could have filled more than 23 dams with the storage capacity (112.06 MCM) of Kota Barrage, a dam on the Chambal River. This water could have then been used in the coming days for potable, irrigation and industrial purposes.

Every year the water flows away unutilized

A further look at the data received from the Water Resources Department on the amount of water discharged from Kota Barrage dam on the Chambal River, we see that 13,896 MCM water was discharged in 2019, 305.72 MCM in 2020, 305.00 MCM in 2021 and 4,286 MCM from June 16 to June 26 in 2022. This data does not include the water discharged fromBisalpur Dam.

The abundant water flow of the Banas River
The abundant water flow of the Banas River

Every year, the release of excess water creates problems

The districts of Rajasthan that lie in the drainage area of the Chambal river include Chittor, Kota, Bundi, Sawai Madhopur, Karauli and Dholpur districts. After Kota, the river flows past Sawai Madhopur, Karauli and Dholpur, and along the border between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. A distance of 252 kilometres. When the Kota Barrage overflows, the release of waters in the Chambal river leads to flooding in the low-lying areas, especially in Kota, Sawai Madhopur, Karauli and Dholpur districts. Dozens of villages become submerged, due to which the administration struggles to manage the situation. This year too, because of the release of the excess waters in the Chambal, the situation is dire in these districts.

Dams of various capacities proposed

Chetram Meena, Assistant Engineer, Irrigation Department, informed us that the Kunnu Barrage dam with a water storage capacity of 56.97 MCM has been proposed on the Kunnu river. Other proposed dams include Ramgarh barrage with water storage capacity of 50.49 MCM on Kul river, Mahalpur barrage with 162.20 MCM water storage capacity on Parvati river, Navnera barrage with 226.65 MCM water storage capacity onKalisindh river. Similarly, on the Banas river, Nimod-Rathod barrage with143.09 MCM water storage capacity has been proposed in Sawai Madhopur district, and another dam, Dungri Dam, with 2098.51 MCM water storage capacity. At the same time, a 50.80 MCM water storage facility has been proposed on the Meij river which passes through Bundi district. The water from these proposed dams on the rivers and the canals will be lifted and made available for agriculture, industry and drinking water under the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP).

Government negligence leading to crisis

Mukesh Bhumi, who is associated with the Bhu-Premi Parivar organization that works with farmers and for environmental protection in Rajasthan, told us that the state’s groundwater storage levels have gone down. The water scarcity crisis here is not hidden from anyone. The balance of the environment has been affected due to the water crisis. Agriculture is also facing crisis. To overcome the water shortage in eastern Rajasthan, the state government established the East Rajasthan Canal Project. The scheme is not being completed on time due to the competition for credit between the central and state governments. As a result, such a huge amount of rain water is being squandered.

Village surrounded by the waters of the Chambal
Village surrounded by the waters of the Chambal

The Chambal flows throughout the year

The only river that flows all year round in Rajasthan, the Chambal river originates in the Janapav hills of Madhya Pradesh. The Janapav hills are a part of the Vindhyachal mountain range. After coursing through Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, this river joins the Yamuna after covering a distance of 965 kilometres in Uttar Pradesh. The total drainage area of the ​​Chambalis 19,500 square kilometres. It is one of the main tributaries of the Yamuna River.

The tributaries of the Chambal

Along with the Banas River, the tributaries of Chambal include the Kshipra, Mej, Bamni, Seep, Kali Sindh, Parvati, ChotiKalisindh, Kuno, Brahmani, Parwan andAlniarivers. Water from these rivers that flows into the Chambal also becomes futile when the Kota Barrage’s overflowing waters are released.

यहाँ हिन्दी में भी पढ़ें राजस्थान में पानी की बर्बादी, 2687 एमसीएम वर्षा जल व्यर्थ बह गया!

[Story Translated By Lotika Singha]

Abdul Mahir
Abdul Mahir
Abdul Mahir has worked continuously as a reporter in Rajasthan Patrika since 2003. Presently Abdul Mahir is reporting for The Mooknayak from Rajasthan.

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