Modi urges PM to grant approval to raise Narmada Dam height

Last Updated: Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 21:49

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra
Modi on Saturday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to grant
approval for raising the height of Narmada Dam upto its full
proposed level of 138.60 metre.

"I urge the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to grant
us approval for raising the height of Narmada Dam upto its
maximum proposed level of 138.60 metre," Modi said, after
laying foundation stone of Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of
Sardar Sarovar Project.

"I also ask him (Prime Minister) to send a team of CBI
in Kutch to gather information on how people are happy as the
work of KBC has begun here," Modi said taking a dig at Singh.

Modi`s statement on CBI and the Prime Minister comes a
day after the Supreme Court transfered inquiry of Tulsi
Prajapati encounter case to CBI.

Presently, the height of the dam is 132 metre and an
increase in the height would help irrigate more land in
the state, it would submerge large part of land in
neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh resulting in
displacement of several families.

The five projects costing around Rs 1,265 crore, are
projected to extend irrigation benefits to 2,78,561 acres of
cultivable land spanning across 182 villages of seven talukas
in Kutch district as part of the Sardar Sarovar Project.

"Kutchi people have been waiting for Narmada water
since last 50 years, but now I don`t want them to wait even
for 5 years," Modi said, while addressing the gathering.

Modi also demanded that the Centre should extend 90
per cent of financial assistance under Accelerated Irrigation
Benefit Programme (AIBP) for creation of water supply network
in drought prone areas of the state.

Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL), the
project implementing agency, has obtained the environmental
clearance for 20 kilometre branch canal network stretch
passing through the Wild Ass Sanctuary in Kutch.

The state government would be spending an additional
Rs 200 crore on preserving natural habitat of the sanctuary.

The estimated cost of Narmada command area development
work in Kutch district is about Rs 4,600 crore, out of which
Rs 2,623 crore will be spent on the construction of KBC, while
Rs 1,462 crore shall be for laying distribution network, a
SSNNL official said.

The total private land proposed to be acquired for the
project in Kutch district is 4,276 hectares, of which 1,270
hectares has been acquired.

"Work orders for the projects costing Rs 1,806 crore
have been issued recently and tendering for rest of the
contracts will be done latest by May, 2011," the official
said.

"The projects will commence in the current fiscal and
are expected to complete in next three years," he said.

The state government has speeded up the SSP, after
obtaining approval of revised cost estimate of Rs 39,240 crore
from the centre, especially for laying canal network in North
Gujarat, Saurasthra, and Kutch.

PTI




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