Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government has sought divine intervention for good rains. After digging state’s water bodies deeper, the Vijay Rupani-led BJP government has decided to hold 41 ‘parjanya yagnas’ on May 31 at each of the 33 districts and eight major cities in the state to appease Lord Indra and Varun for good monsoon in the state.
The parjanya yagnas, performed to invoke rain gods and induce rainfall, have been organized on May 31to mark the culmination of Gujarat government’s month-long drive ‘Sujlam Suflam Jal Abhiyaan’. The drive was undertaken to desilt and deepen rivers, lakes, pond, canals and other water bodies to harvest more rain water during the monsoon season.
The decision was taken at the state cabinet meeting held on Wednesday. Deputy CM Nitin Patel said, “The government has decided to organize parjanya yagna on May 31to pray for good monsoon in the state. The yagnas will be held at 41places across Gujarat after which prasad will be distributed. I along with CM Vijay Rupani, state ministers and senior officers will take part in the yagna, which will be followed by a public meeting.”
Gujarat is battling acute water crisis this summer. At the peak of summer, the 204 dams in Gujarat have only 29% water against its storage capacity of 25,227 million cubic meter (MCM). Last year around this time, there was 40% water .
With high-stakes Lok Sabha polls due in 2019, the Rupani government’s concerns stem from fear that any delay or deficit rains this monsoon could hamper its electoral fortunes by stoking unrest especially in the hinterland.
Sources said while all collectors have been directed to organize yagnas in their districts, senior IAS officer A M Tiwari has been made in-charge of the event. “It has been decided to bring special ‘kalash’ from Muradabad, Uttar Pradesh, and distribute it on large scale and motivate villagers and city dwellers to join the yagnas,” a top source in the secretariat said.
The state government will also organize parallel events urging locals to focus on conservation and preservation of the water bodies.