The Gujarat government’s ambitious Kalpasar project (Gulf of Khambhat development project) will most likely take off in 2014. The Chennai-based National Institute of Ocean Technology, engaged in conducting the techno-economic feasibility study for the project, is expected to complete the entire scope of investigations by the current year.
The Kalpasar project, estimated to cost above Rs.50,000 crore, envisages building the world’s largest fresh water reservoir in sea with storage capacity of more than 10,000 million cubic metre of surface water (25 percent of volume of state’s average annual rain water inflow) through installation of a 30 km. long dam across the Gulf of Khambhat, connecting Bhavnagar on west to Dahej on east coast. The construction of the dam will take between 5 to 7 years.
The state government’s Kalpasar Department claims that the project would not only provide a sustainable solution to the problems of irrigation and supply of drinking water faced by the regions of Saurashtra and Central Gujarat because of arid conditions but also lead to several other developments including rejuvenation of rivers, permanent filling with water of more than 60 existing dams, generation of wind and solar energy that can be used for lifting fresh water from the reservoir to the canal, revival of the Bhavnagar port, reduction in distance by about 200 km. between Bhavnagar and Surat-Mumbai, reduction in soil salinity in the coastal areas of Saurashtra and Central Gujarat, development of about 2 lakh hectares of land along the periphery of the reservoir and better access to the industrial estates at Dahej and Dholera for the Bhavnagar/Saurashtra region.
The Kalpasar project was conceptualized way back in 1998 but has since then made little headway.