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Gujarat govt to build over 10,500 kms of Narmada canals in 2 years

PTI | Gandhinagar |

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Friday told the state Assembly that the government would construct 10,532 kilometres of canals in the next two years as part of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada project.

He was addressing the House on the budgetary allocation of Rs 4,950 crore for the Narmada project.

“Till now, we have completed the construction of the Narmada canal network having a cumulative length of 52,231 kms. At present, work is underway for 10,532 kms of canals and it will be completed in the next two years” Patel said.

He refuted Congress allegations that the state government was favouring industries over farmers in the allotment of water.

Out of the annual supply of nine million acre feet(MAF) sanctioned for Gujarat, only 2.22 per cent, that is 0.20 MAF, has been alloted for industries, the Deputy CM said.

“However, industries have never utilised the entire quota of 0.20 MAF in the past. Looking at lower water levels in dams, we have further curtailed that quota to just 0.06 MAF this year” said Patel.

He said that the dam was able to store 1.48 MAF additional water because the Narendra Modi government had, within 17 days of assuming office in 2014, given permission to raise the height of the dam.

Commenting on the stoppage of water for irrigation from today due to a drop in water levels of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, Patel said farmers had been intimated of the stoppage well in advance.

“Since the dam has received just about half the water this time when compared to last year, we had already urged farmers to not take up sowing of summer crops” he said.

“People dependent on Narmada water for drinking purposes will not face any difficulty. They will be supplied the same amount of water as last year. In case it is needed, we have also planned to supply more than what was done last year” he said.