The State Government of Gujarat launched India’s biggest state level water conservation mission Sujalam Suflam Jal Abhiyan on Gujarat Foundation Day, falling on 1st May, 2018. A total of 13,000 lakes will be deepened and 34 rivers will be rejuvenated as part of this mission. Rajkot city is developing a new lake at Race Course 2 in the Raiya area as part of the Smart City Mission. The construction of this lake, which will be constructed over 45 acres, was inaugurated by Mr. Vijay Rupani, Honorable Chief Minister, Gujarat, as part of the Sujalam Suflam Jal Abhiyan, on 5th May 2018.
As part of this mission, around 282 lakes in 182 villages in Rajkot district will be deepened and rejuvenated, resulting in a storage capacity of approximately 6.90 cubic meters of water. Gujarat state government will also introduce the “Gujarat waste water recycling and reuse policy” shortly.
As part of the study on assessing the potential for augmentation of local water resources through ground water/aquifer recharge in Rajkot, under the CapaCITIES project funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, recurring instances of flooding with rain water at different locations of the city were analyzed and locations were identified for mitigation.
Information on topographical elevation, surface hydrological information, watershed basins and sub-basins, existing ground water quality in various zones, identified reasons for flooding in different areas, various ground water recharge techniques, identified flood mitigation and ground water recharge pilot projects including existing problems, reasons for flooding, proposed solutions, ground water recharge designs and future benefits were showcased to more than 200 local people, practitioners, architects, and engineers. The Climate Resilient City Action Plan (CRCAP) for Rajkot prepared under CapaCITIES, was also showcased. Some elderly citizens provided their views based on their experiences, on the ground water availability in the city since the past 50 years. This showcase help them understand the existing situation and importance of rain water recharge.
Dr. Jaiman Upadhyay, Honorable Mayor, Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), Ms. Darshita Shah, Honorable Deputy Mayor, RMC and Mr. Pushkar Patel, Honorable Standing Committee Chairman also visited the exhibition. Details of the water augmentation study including the proposed flood mitigation pilot project interventions and the CRCAP were described to the delegation. The draft copies of both the reports were handed over for their review and suggestions.
This study is essential for Rajkot as it is a water scarce region and many people depend on ground water. Ground water quality has been tested and scientific work has been conducted as part of CapaCITIES. “Various assessments and interventions implemented under CapaCITIES will help make Rajkot a climate resilient city”, said. Dr. Jaiman Upadhyay appreciated the efforts under CapaCITIES and expressed his gratitude to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for providing such support.