The Rajasthan government is contemplating running ‘water trains’ to Pali district by September-end as the water level in Jawai Dam is just at 10 feet due to deficit rainfall in the area this year.
Considered the lifeline of the area, Jawai Dam supplies water to Pali district, including Pali city, Sumerpur, Rani, Falna, Bali, Jaitaran, Sojat, Takhatgarh, Marwar Junction. Also, hundreds of villages are dependent on the dam for irrigation and drinking water.
Officials said the Water Resources and Public Health Engineering Department will send a report to the government after September 15 seeking budgetary approval to supply drinking water by train.
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, PHED Superintendent Engineer Jagdish Prasad Sharma said.
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.
As the monsoon is in the last spell it is very difficult to expect it is going to cover this deficit, a weather department official said.
In 2020, the average rainfall till September 2 was 449.50 mm. But this year, it has been 409.83 mm so far. Sriganganagar district has received a rainfall of 74 mm so far in this season which is very low while Baran received rainfall of 1074.90 mm which is the highest in the state.