Ahmedabad: A Japanese trade delegation has evinced interest in the ambitious Rs 30,000-crore Kalpasar Project which proposes to build a dam on the Gulf of Khambat in Gujarat and establish a huge reservoir of fresh water.

Discussions were held with the Japanese delegation and if all goes well, the project could be a joint venture with them," Principal Secretary, Narmada Water Resources, Water Supply and Kalpasar department, H K Dash, said.

"The delegation has assured us of organising a seminar in Japan this September to showcase opportunities back home offered by this project for companies specialising in water projects," he said.

Kalpasar project has a lot of potential and shall help the government fulfill its commitment for supplying water to parched areas of Saurasthra region, Dash added.

The re-designed dam is proposed to be built from Kalatalav in Bhavnagar district in Saurashtra to Aladar in Bharuch district in south Gujarat, which is 15-km north of the
place from where the dam was earlier envisaged from Ghogha in Bhavnagar to Hansot in Bharuch.

It is a massive project in which sweet water that flows into the sea via seven big rivers of the state will be collected and stored in the proposed dam.

The project proposes construction of a 30-km-long dam on Gulf of Khambat, leading to creation of 2,000 square km fresh water reservoir in the region.

"The mega project shall also link Saurasthra to South Gujarat by a 30-km dam, with a ten lane road," Dash said, adding a proposal for energy generation, both solar and wind,
also falls under the ambit of the project. "The land reclaimed for dam construction can be used for industrial activity. A lot of interest is being generated in the project from leading industrial houses as well as from overseas," Dash said.

Gujarat, with 50 billion cubic metres of usable water, has a per capita water availability of less than 1200 cum (cubic metre), much lower than the nation average of 1880 cum,
states a CII report on 'Water Sector in Gujarat'.

Presently, sweet water flows from the state rivers directly into the sea and is not being diverted to parched regions of the state leading to water scarcity in certain pockets.

"About 10,000 million cubic meter (MCM) of water inflow of rivers like Narmada, Dhadhar, Mahi, Sabarmati and some of Saurashtra rivers will be stored there (Kalpasar dam)," state officials said.

According to a CII report, Gujarat has nearly 185 river basins located within the confines of its boundaries.

However, only three rivers, Tapi, Narmada and Mahi are perennial in nature. The river basins in regions like Kutch are plagued with issues of poor rainfall, it said.