IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
about one month ago, there were reports in the media that Gujarat is not getting adequate water because the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam can't be raised. Such reports appear with a striking periodicity. Within a month, the same newspapers were reporting floods in Gujarat. Daily newspapers have a short memory and they live a day-to-day existence. Not so the people who run Gujarat. They have all the time in the world -- and money to hire experts -- to consider all variables when they draw up their development plans. Gujarat is so convinced of its right to water from other states -- and so assertive about it -- that it has forgotten rain.
So, now there are floods, destruction of life and property. Government is blaming the unusually heavy rainfall. When there is drought, it blames the lack of rainfall. It is as if the weather gods are in a never ending conspiring against Gujarat.
Gujarat's decision makers need go no further than Ahmedabad to see the relationship between the state's drought-flood cycle. The walled city is never flooded, even as half an hour of rain inundates several suburbs. Though densely built up, the old city was laid out in accordance with the gradient, with the streets acting as drains. All the runoff heads straight to the Sabarmati river. Almost all houses in the walled city had tanks to store drinking water. Several still do. On the other hand are the suburbs, which have come up as a result of Gujarat's infamous builder-politician nexus, have been built with total disregard to gradient. In fact, several housing societies have come up on what were once lakebeds.
The rural areas have also paid the price for bad planning. Highways and canals, constructed with little care to drainage, have made a big disaster of what might have been manageable. Village after flooded village had to resort to breaching highways and canals to drain water. Had the planners taken drainage into account, this excessive rainfall might have provided water for the coming two to three years, at least in some areas. But for that, Gujarat's leaders will have to think of land in terms of a natural resource, not just real estate. Given the unpredictability of the monsoon and its limitation to three months in a year, water security is dependent on the willingness of people to set aside land for water. In planning towns and roads and canals with respect to the path that water will take.
Gujarat can build all the canals it can build to get water from all its neighbouring states. Where will it send floodwaters when the rain gods relent?