Friday, January 22, 2021
Home Specials OpIndia Explains Kutch, devastated by 2001 earthquake is now a tourism hub. Read how the white...

Kutch, devastated by 2001 earthquake is now a tourism hub. Read how the white desert emerged as economic powerhouse

From hosting migratory birds like flamingos to being home to incredible embroidery, Kutch has managed to turn obstacles into opportunities.

Kutch nahin dekha to kuch nahin dekha (If you’ve not seen Kutch, you’ve not seen anything)”, said superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

On 26th January 2001, a devastating earthquake measuring 7.7 in magnitude struck Gujarat. Kutch’s Bhachau was the epicentre. Thousands of people were killed and infrastructure worth crores turned into debris.

Eight months after it, Narendra Modi took over the reins from Keshubhai Patel as Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was a man on a mission.

He was going to turn this vast expanse of nothingness into a tourism hub. He wanted to bring water to the parched land of Kutch. And he wanted to make Kutch the next investment destination.

Narendra Modi turned desert full of nothingness into a festival. Literally

In 2006, Narendra Modi launched the Rann Utsav. The desert festival.

For a place which is extremely hot through the year with very little rainfall, winters are quite pleasant in Kutch. So from November to February the following year, the Rann of Kutch hosts the ‘Rann Utsav’. Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited, a Government of Gujarat company, makes impeccable arrangements for tourists.

It looks a bit like this.

Kutch offers history, culture and the colours of Gujarat. Did you know Dholavira in Kutch is one of the sites of Indus Valley Civilisation?

Parched land of Kutch now has Narmada water

As the then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi launched the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana in September 2012. SAUNI word in Gujarati means “everyone’s”. Through SAUNI Yojana, 115 dams in the arid Saurashtra region will be filled by diverting flood waters which overflow from the Sardar Sarovar dam in South Gujarat, a couple of kilometres away.

A spider pipeline network of 1,125 km long was involved. In June this year, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani announced phase two of SAUNI Yojana.

SAUNI Yojana will provide benefit of Narmada water to 737 villages of 11 districts and 31 cities in the Kutch-Saurashra region.

Kutch to have world’s largest renewable energy park

Yes, you read that right.

On his one-day visit to Kutch, PM Modi today virtually laid the foundation stone for the world’s largest hybrid renewable energy park at Khavda as well as a desalination plant in Mandvi along the Arabian Sea coast. The 30,000 MW hybrid renewable energy park will be the world’s largest with both windmills and solar panels being set up to generate power.

Gujarat has the highest number of approved solar parks. Did you know Gujarat alone has 2/3rd of India’s residential solar rooftop system? Gujarat is followed by Maharashtra.

Kutch farmers went from lack of irrigation water to exporting produce

There was a time when farmers in Kutch faced acute water shortage. Kutch is a no-cultivation zone. And while water continues to remain an expensive commodity in Kutch, the famers have prospered. Over 150 farmers in Gujarat have been cultivating dragonfruit, an exotic fruit native to South America. And while dragonfruits of Kutch are on plates across hotels in India, the pomegranates are being exported to other parts of the world.

Not just a pinch of salt

There’s probably a bit of Gujarat in everything you eat. Did you know the salt desert of Kutch contribute to 75% of total salt production in India?

Salt farming in Kutch (image courtesy: CNN.com)

Close to the Arabian Sea, major part of the desert is flooded by sea water for most part of the year. When the sea water recedes, the farmers begin to harvest the salt left behind by the evaporating sea water. Till next monsoon, the Agariyas, or the salt farmers, work in extreme conditions to bring you that swadanusar namak on your plates.

From hosting migratory birds like flamingos to being home to incredible embroidery, Kutch has managed to turn obstacles into opportunities.

And indeed. Kutch nahin dekha, to kuch nahin dekha.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Nirwa Mehtahttps://medium.com/@nirwamehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

 

Related Articles

Trending now

‘Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him’: How Lee Kuan Yew brought an end to pilots’ protest in Singapore Airlines

In 1980, the Singapore International Airlines(SIA) and its pilots' union SIAPA was engaged in a bitter dispute over the demand of salary hikes.

‘F**k Biden’: Twitter suspends prominent Antifa accounts after left-wing mobs continue their rampage following Biden’s inauguration

Twitter has suspended prominent Antifa accounts following a spell of rioting on the occasion of Joe Biden's inauguration as president.

Roasting Raghuram Rajan, talking about economic upswing, forced conversion to Islam and Christianity: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala bursts ‘liberal’ bubble

The big bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was uninhibited his in his freewheeling interview with The Print founder Shekhar Gupta

Left-wing fury at Vir Sanghvi shows just how much ‘liberals’ hate Hindus

Vir Sanghvi published a column about the ‘shameful persecution’ of Munawar Faruqui and the ‘bogus controversy’ around Tandav

Mumbai Police denies permission to UP Police, disrupts probe in Mirzapur case as police reach to question Farhan Akhtar

UP Police is investigating case filed against makers of the web series 'Mirzapur' and their probe is being disrupted by Mumbai Police

Rajdeep Sardesai ‘baffled’ by India Today survey that shows Modi govt winning a sweeping majority if elections held today: Details

Taking to Twitter, Sardesai said that he was 'baffled' to see that despite the economic hardships resulted by the pandemic, Indians still love the Modi government.

Recently Popular

Rajdeep Sardesai ‘baffled’ by India Today survey that shows Modi govt winning a sweeping majority if elections held today: Details

Taking to Twitter, Sardesai said that he was 'baffled' to see that despite the economic hardships resulted by the pandemic, Indians still love the Modi government.

Pakistan ‘successfully’ test-fires missile injuring people, destroying houses in civil area, say Baloch leaders

Contrary to claims of Pakistani Army's successful tests of Shaheen-III Missile, several reports coming from Pakistan suggests that the test carried out by Pakistan was a massive failure as the missile landed in a civilian area in Balochistan destroying several houses and injuring civilians

Arnab vs Navika: Arnab responds to Navika’s emotional monologue, says he carried his shoes with him

Recently, Navika Kumar said that when Arnab left Time Now, she had his shoes to fill. However, Arnab gives a befitting reply.

Reuters’ ‘First Dogs’ video after Trump leaves White House is quite racist, especially towards India and Japan

Reuters could have used literally any other clip of Trump while speaking about dogs in White House

After multiple FIRs against ‘Tandav’, makers of another Amazon Prime web series ‘Mirzapur’ in trouble, SC issues notice

The SC notice was issued following a petition complaining about UP's Mirzapur being portrayed in a bad light in the web series

Niira Radia Tapes: Read how Navika Kumar was in thick with the infamous lobbyist known for brokering ministerial berths in the UPA regime

Navika Kumar had allegedly spoke to lobbyist Niira Radia over an imminent revolt within the BJP party following the 2009 General elections
- Advertisement -

 

Mangaluru: Tense situations prevail as miscreants drop condoms and objectionable posters inside a temple’s hundi

The incident took place just days after used condoms and fake currency notes were found in the hundis of 3 other temples

#BanSportsTak: Netizens angry after India Today owned sports channel claims Virat Kohli suffers from ‘disorder’

"It is a disorder for a captain to (be as aggressive as Virat Kohli). It might be acceptable for a player to have this aggression (but nor for a captain)," the journalist claimed.

Maha Congress protests against Arnab Goswami over ‘ChatGate’, raises ‘Joote Maaro’ slogan while hitting his poster with shoes

The Congress party on Monday took to the streets of Mumbai in huge numbers to protest against Arnab Goswami.

‘Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him’: How Lee Kuan Yew brought an end to pilots’ protest in Singapore Airlines

In 1980, the Singapore International Airlines(SIA) and its pilots' union SIAPA was engaged in a bitter dispute over the demand of salary hikes.

‘F**k Biden’: Twitter suspends prominent Antifa accounts after left-wing mobs continue their rampage following Biden’s inauguration

Twitter has suspended prominent Antifa accounts following a spell of rioting on the occasion of Joe Biden's inauguration as president.

“Young generation of New India has a zeal of combating troubles with enthusiasm”, says PM Modi addressing students at Tezpur University

PM Modi emphasised on how the Govt prioritised the development of North-East India opening new avenues for younger generations

Congress head of minority cell arrested for involvement in attack on Tripura Congress chief, a crime media had blamed BJP for

President of the Tripura Unit of the Congress party, was attacked on Sunday in Bishalgarh of Sipahijala district.

JNU fines Aishe Ghosh and other students for illegally entering JNU hostel by breaking locks, Shehla Rashid jumps into the fray to foment trouble

JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh was fined by JNU admin for illegally entering hostel by breaking lock during the lockdown

West Bengal: Political turmoil in TMC continues as Cabinet Minister Rajib Banerjee calls it quits

Cabinet Minister Rajib Banerjee tendered his resignation from the post of the Minister-in-Charge of the Forest Department on Friday.

Roasting Raghuram Rajan, talking about economic upswing, forced conversion to Islam and Christianity: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala bursts ‘liberal’ bubble

The big bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was uninhibited his in his freewheeling interview with The Print founder Shekhar Gupta

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,900SubscribersSubscribe