Deficient rainfall in Rajasthan and a declining water level in Jawai Dam have forced the state government to consider running “water trains” to Pali district by the end of the current month. Notably, the water level at the dam has declined to just 10 feet as the area received very little rainfall this year.
Water supplies made to the Pali district is dependent upon the Jawai Dam, which is considered the lifeline of the area. Water from the dam is supplied to Pali city, Rani, Bali, Sojat, Marwar Junction, Sumerpur, Falna, Jaitaran, and Takhatgarh. This apart, several villages in the area are also dependent on the dam for drinking water as well as agriculture.
With the water level in the dam declining, officials of the water resources and public health engineering department are going to send a report to the Ashok Gehlot government seeking funds for supplying drinking water by train.
PHED superintendent engineer Jagdish Prasad Sharma said, “If the rainfall situation doesn’t improve by September 15, a plan to operate “water trains” from September 21 is in consideration. The train will supply about 10 million litres of water per day from Jodhpur to Pali in four rounds.”
Rainfall deficiency in Rajasthan
In 2019, water had to be supplied by train in Pali when monsoon activity in the area was below average. About a dozen districts in Rajasthan are parched due to deficit rainfall as the southwest monsoon is about to enter its weak phase.
This year, the average rainfall in Rajasthan is still 8.8 per cent less than what it was till September 2, 2020. According to the meteorological department, about a dozen districts of the state are still in the rainfall-deficit category. These include Banswara, Barmer, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Dungarpur, Sriganganagar, Jalore, Jhunjhunu, Jodhpur, Pali, Rajsamand and Udaipur.
District collectors have been told to make a contingency plan for a drought or drought-like situation. Weather officials have ruled out the likelihood of monsoon, which is in its last spell, covering the deficit.
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