"The entire amount of Rs 203 crore is to be used for building one more water reservoir at Ajwa, construction of Ring road and cement concrete roads in various housing societies in the city," VMC's standing committee chairman Hitendra Patel said on Wednesday.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel gave away the cheque of the said amount to city Mayor Bharat Shah at an event in Gandhinagar on Wednesday.

The existing Ajwa reservoir in the city is an earthen dam built in early 20th century by the then ruler of Vadodara, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III.

Its main aim was to provide water to Vadodara residents. Although the population of Vadodara at that time was 100,000, it was the ruler's vision to build the reservoir three times larger. This reservoir has the ability to attend to the water requirements of about 300,000 people residing in the eastern parts of the city.

The about 5-km-long dam, having 64 gates, can store water up to a height of 211 ft above sea level (its overflow level). It is connected to the Vishwamitri river which flows through Vadodara.

When the reservoir is full, it is supposed to have a catchment area of around 195 sq kms. The dam was reportedly damaged by rats in 2003 and in 2005, heavy rains led to concern that the reservoir might flood.

With the city's population having touched 18 lakhs now, it necessitated building of one more reservoir at Ajwa for meeting increasing demand of drinking water, said Patel.

At present, the VMC gets water from Ajwa reservoir and four French wells dug up in Mahi river bed at Vasad on the outskirts of the city.

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