Water crisis looming, Gujarat issues advisory for cops on using water

Ahmedabad: Bracing for the looming water crisis in Gujarat this summer, state Home Department has issued an advisory asking officials to ensure that water is not?wasted at police stations, staff quarters, or in jails.

Calling for “judicious use of water” in general, the advisory, issued recently, also lists several specific steps to be taken to stop wastage of water in the form of overflowing from overhead tanks at police?stations, offices of senior officers as well as at all the police staff quarters across the state.

Gujarat is staring at a water crisis due to plummeting water levels at the SSD on the Narmada river and in the catchment areas of upstream dams in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh that received scanty rainfall in 2017.

As a result, Gujarat would get only 4.71 Million Acre Feet (MAF) water from dams on the Narmada river this year, 45? per cent of the sanctioned share of 9 MAF.

As per the advisory, senior officials, such as Range IGs and District Superintendents of Police (DSPs) need to check as well as repair any leakage in pipelines or storage tanks at police stations, offices and staff quarters under their jurisdiction.

The advisory asks officials to “monitor the filling of water in overhead tanks at police stations and staff quarters to avoid overflowing”.

As several police stations as well as jails have their gardens, officials have been asked to install sprinklers or drip irrigation system to save water.

The advisory also cautioned against excessive use of water in washing police vehicles and asked officials to make? sure that drivers turn off the tap after finishing their task.

Officials have been asked to implement a system to check if all taps are properly shut during holidays.

“Instead of throwing away waste water, officials need to instruct the employees to use it for water garden plants,” it stated.

The circular also directed offices and other premises under Home department to implement a system to store rain water. It asked the Gujarat Police Housing Corporation (GPHC) to incorporate rain water harvesting in all structures such as staff quarters or police stations that they would build in the future.

As “trees are vital for good rainfall”, the department has asked all officers and employees to plant at least one tree and make efforts for its survival.

To motivate others in taking up the cause, officers can felicitate those employees who have done an outstanding work in conserving water, as per the advisory.

Stressing that all these instructions must be followed in a best possible way, the Home department has made it “compulsory” for officers to monitor the implementation of directions and sending a monthly report having photographs to the Home Department.

Reacting to the advisory, Ahmedabad Inspector General of Police A K Jadeja said it is the need of the hour to save water.

Ahmedabad, Kheda and Anand districts fall under the jurisdiction of Jadeja.

“I have asked all the three district SPs to implement the advisory at their level. There are around 60 police stations in my Range. We will also put this advisory on the notice board of all our police stations. Water is precious and everyone need to do their bit to save it” the officer said.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had earlier said the problem of potable water stands resolved as the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has allowed the use of seepage and dead water of the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river.

The storage in the SSD fell by 45 per cent, the lowest in the last 15 years, mainly due to poor rainfall in Madhya Pradesh last monsoon.

Besides Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are the two other beneficiary states of the project.

“The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) in a meeting held recently sanctioned the use of seepage and dead water of the Sardar Sarovar dam,” the chief minister had said.

The Gujarat government had reportedly sought permission of the NCA to utilise the dam water through Special Irrigation Bypass Tunnel (IBPT) after the water level in the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) fell to an alarmingly low level.