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Gujarat villagers tackle salinity ingress

Gandhigar, April 8: Facing salinity ingress for years and disappointed with official apathy, hundreds of farmers and their kin from across 30 villages in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region have taken matters into their own hands to build a small dam. After failing to get the government to build a weir for the last 25 years, people of Methda village in Bhavgar district have now crowdfunded a project to build the low head dam across the coast.
The salinity ingress has led salt water to invade the area which earlier contained only fresh water, leading to crop damage. The Gujarat coastal areas, especially villages lying within 20-25 km from the seashore, are affected. Now the Methda villagers have come together and resolved to tackle the problem on their own. They have started work to build the weir they badly need. The low head dam will be a barrier across the horizontal width of the river that alters the flow characteristics of the water resulting in the change in the height of the river level. The salinity ingress is so acute that it has turned large swathe of land barren. It has even affected the underground water, making the well waters salty as dry river bed of the Baghad has made the salty sea water enter the area with ease. (IANS)