During recently concluded his six-day long visit to Israel, Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Vijaybhai Rupani held a series of fruitful meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his agricultural minister Uri Yehuda Ariel to have detail deliberations with them on issues like agro farming, desalination plants and other technologies.
As an outcome of these meetings, Gujarat has signed as many as 16 MoUs with Israel on issues pertaining to agriculture, water management-start-up innovation – smart city and other sectors. These MoUs included three MoUs signed for the water management.
During his visit, to have first-hand information Mr. Rupani and his accompanying high level delegation had visited desalination plants, agro-farming and others.
For the successful implementation of these MOUs and proper planning of them, a high power committee has been formulated. Besides Chief Minister, this committee included Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Nitin Patel, Education Minister Mr. Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Agriculture Minister Mr. R.C Faldu, Energy Minister Mr. Saurabh Patel, Revenue Minister Mr. Kaushik Patel, Minister of State for Home Department Mr. Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Minister of State for Water Supplies Mr. Parbat Patel, Minister of State for Agriculture Mr. Jaydrathsinh Parmar, Chief Secretary Dr. J.N Singh, Additional Chief Secretaries namely Mr. M.S Dagur, Mr. Arvind Agrawal ,Mr. Sanjay Prasad, Chief Principal Secretary to the CM Mr. K. Kailashnathan, Principal Secretary to CM Mr. M.K Das, Additional Secretary of Water Supplies Department Mr. J. P Gupta, Secretary to CM Mr. Ashwini Kumar; in addition to Secretary for Home Department Mr. Manoj Agrawal, and Secretary of Animal Husbandry Department Mr. Mohammad Shaahid, Director of Agriculture Mr. Bharat Modi, and Director of Horticulture Mr. Vaghasiya.
A sub-group would be made operational under the chairmanship of Mr. J. P. Gupta, principal secretary (water supply) for the follow-up and monitoring of the water management. A MoU has been signed with Israel’s Mekorot Company, which is the national water company of Israel, for strengthening water distribution and water management system in Gujarat.
The Chief Minister had also visited the IDE Group, which is an Israeli water desalination company, and invited it to set up desalination and waste water treatment plants in Gujarat. Mr. Rupani and his delegation also visited the world’s biggest desalination plant, which is called Sorek.
It is located about 15 km away from Israel’s capital city, Tel Aviv. The plant is built at a cost of 400 million US $ and made operational since 2013. The plant is producing 660 M.L.D. of drinking water per day from salty seawaters.
The Chief Minister and visiting Gujarat delegation also studied the advance technologies with a view to set up 10-odd desalination plants on seashore of Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch regions to resolve the water scarcity problems of the state.
Mr. Rupani also visited the Shafdan wastewater treatment plant, located in Dan region near Tel Aviv. Israel is using 85 percent of waste water. This technology could be very useful for Gujarat too! As the desalination plants are using maximum electricity, the Chief Minister had also invited the Israeli companies to jointly installed solar parks in Gujarat for producing solar energy.
Chief Minister’s visit would be fruitful in giving water security to Gujarat till 2050.