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Gujarat: Fight for water now a way of life for Amreli residents

Mar 05, 2013 08:45 AM IST India India

Amreli: With chronic drought and chronic water shortage, the fight for water has become a way of life in Amreli Saurashtra. CNN-IBN travelled there to find out why the promise of drinking and irrigation water from the Narmada dam remains just another dry promise.

Setting off with vessels in search of water has become a routine for the residents of the Bhatarwadi locality in Amreli have had water. They have to jostle for whatever little water is available.

Amreli resident Nargis Memon said, "We earn Rs 100 per day and a water tanker costs Rs 150. How can we make ends meet?" "We ask everyone for water but no one wants to share," another resident Khatuben Shaikh added.

The situation is no different in other parts of Amreli. Women have to wait for a week for water to flow in their taps. "People say that Modi sahib will ensure that there will be water, but by when," asked a resident Alka Desai.

Amreli gets just half of its daily requirement of 15 million litres. So acute is the situation that women from all parts of Amreli gather at one tank to wash clothes. A voluntary organisation provides the water using a borewell.

The situation is equally bad in rural Amreli. Nana Akadiya village, home to 6000 people, is divided into zones, each getting its quota of Narmada water just once in a fortnight. For irrigation, farmers like Mahendra Desai depend entirely on the monsoon. Borewells have run dry and the Narmada canals are nowhere in sight.

Hundreds of farmers depend entirely on the monsoon for their farming needs in many parts of Saurashtra. Getting water from the Narmada project for their farming is still a distant dream.