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Modi slams Centre for delay in permission to raise dam height

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 00:00

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday slammed the Centre for not granting permission to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

"Two generations have passed since Gujarat had asked the Centre to allow raising the height of the main dam of Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) on Narmada river to 138 m, but it is still stuck at 121.92 m," Modi said, while addressing state farmers through video conferencing.

"At present height, the dam holds just 27 percent of the total capacity. The Gujarat bashers are opposing the completion of dam," he said.

Modi said that Centre should allow the gates of SSP main dam on Narmada to be raised up to 138 metres.

The Centre provides 90 per cent assistance from Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIPB) for drought relief, but not to projects like SSP which has potential to fight drought, Modi alleged.

The cost of project originally estimated at Rs 6,000-crore has escalated to Rs 50,000 crore, Modi said, referring to impact of delay in granting permission.

It is Gujarat government which has allocated Rs 9,000 crore from its budget to take water to higher reaches in North Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch, he said.

He said water supply from Narmada distribution network under the SSP command area would be handed over to farmers` water users committees in about 5,000 villages soon.

Modi said that 80,000 farmers of Gujarat had voluntarily handed over about 40,000 hectare of land falling under SSP and were given compensation of Rs 1,200 crore.

He said that his government has augmented the irrigation capacity of canals and would add another one lakh hectare by the year end.

Modi claimed that all these efforts have brought 37 lakh hectares agriculture land under irrigation in the state.


First Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 23:59
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