DEWAS WATER PROJECT- A BIG BOON
The long awaited completion of the 11.05 km long tunnel of Dewas Second (Mohanlal Sukhadia Water Project) is really a great historic event in the development of the City of Lakes. The coming of the water of Sabarmati Basin into lakes of Udaipur is the fulfilment of a 40-year old dream of Udaipurities. The unique feature of the project is that without using electric power for lifting the water, it will flow into the lakes through the natural force of gravity.
All the four phases of Dewas Project were named after the illustrious Chief Minister Mohanlal Sukhadia by the present CM Ashok Gehlot. The canal constructed in the second phase to bring the water of Akodara Dam in Jhadol Panchayat Samiti to the city has become the longest tunnel in the state leaving behind the 8 km. long tunnel that carries the water of Saee Dam near Pindwara to Jawai Dam.
Through gravity 300 MPFT water collected in Akodara Dam and 100 MPFT in Madri Dam will flow toUdaipur, through this canal which will also bring to Pichola lake 1000 MPFT water when stages 3 and 4 of the project are completed.
It was forty years ago that the great visionery Mohanlal Sukhadia felt the
need of this gigantic project when resources were limited and techniques not-so-developed. He had long discussions with several engineers and tribals of the region and was instrumental in giving a practical form to this project. The ambitious project was launched during his tenure and the first phase was completed in Gorana 31 years ago with the contribution of Hindustan Zinc Ltd. After that Pichola and Fateh Sagar lakes began to get more water. In this phase water flows into Sisarma river through a small tunnel and then moves on to Pichola.
Work is in progress in the second stage under which 302 MCAFT Akodara Dam and 85.45 MCAFT dam are being constructed. A 11.05 Km long tunnel will bring the water to Amarjok river near Bujhada and on to Pichola through Sisarma.
The third phase is proposed near Morwal in Padasali for which survey has been completed. Under this a dam of 500 MCAFT and a 10.38 km long tunnel is to be constructed.
In Ambowi is proposed the last and fourth stage of the project in which a dam with a capacity of 500 MCAFT and a tunnel 3.88 km long will be built.
Started during Mohanlal Sukhadia’s Chief Ministership, the prloject was
given a practical shape by the erstwhile Chief Minister Vasundhara Raja at the insistence of Udaipur MLA Gulab Chand Kataria. The cost of the project was 136 crores in 2006 which shot up to 379 crore and 19 lakh. This was due to increase in the radius of the tunnel and land compensation. The state took a loan of 268 crore and 90 lakh from NABARD.
The road to success was very bumpy due to cavities and seepage of water in the tunnel. Dozens of high capacity pump sets were deployed. Due to low pressure airpumps were used all the time for workers. Inspite of all such hurdles the engineers and supporting staff of various govt. departments and technical staff and labourers of the contractors made it a grand success by dint of their hard labour and courage in the face of several difficult situations.
The general public and political leadership of the town seem to be palpably elated on this great occasion. Sajjan Katara, MLA (Rural) says, “Due to completion of Dewas Project, water will now be brought to Pichcola and so the lakes will always be full.” President, City District Congress Committee, Nilima Sukhadia adds, “Now lakes which are the lifeline ofUdaipurwill be full round the year.” City MLA Gulabchand Kataria feels that all this has been possible due to the cooperative efforts of the people of the whole town and
tourists local and foreign will be attrracted to the city. MP Raghubeer Meena says that they are committed to fruitful efforts to complete the work of the remaining phases.
The success of the project is really a big boon forUdaipuras it will ensure adequate supply of drinking water to the town. The lakes brimming with water all the year round will bring back the glory of the town as the city of lakes. Naturally, this will lure a large number of tourists providing a big boost to the tourism industry and local businesses and also provide greater job opportunities.