Rs 47,202 crore spent on Narmada project: Gujarat government
The Gujarat government admitted before the Assembly on Wednesday that despite spending over Rs 47,000 crore on the entire Narmada project, canals of more than 48,000 km are yet to be constructed.
Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government admitted before the Assembly on Wednesday that despite spending over Rs 47,000 crore on the entire Narmada project, canals of more than 48,000 km are yet to be constructed.
During question hour, senior Congress MLA Punja Vansh raised questions related to the pending work of the Narmada canal network. Besides Vansh, some other Congress MLAs sought details about the expenses incurred for the project so far by the government.
On behalf of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel who handles the Narmada department, Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama replied that Rs 47,202 crore has been spent on the entire Narmada project, including the dam, till date.
Out of these expenses, Rs 5,777.6 crore has been spent on the Saradar Sarovar Dam, Rs 6,427.5 crore has been spent on the Narmada main canal and Rs 16,960 crore has been spent on the branch canal network, Chudasama stated.
The minister also admitted that canals of 48,266 km in length are yet to be constructed, including 214.3 km of branch canals, 1590.7 km of distributaries, 8656.7 km of minor canals and 27,804.7 km of sub-minor canals. He added that work is going on in full swing and the government is determined to complete the work "as soon as possible".
Replying to another question raised by Congress MLAs about the outstanding amount to be recovered from other states under the Narmada project, Chudasama admitted that a total of Rs 5,426.24 crore is yet to be recovered from three neighboring states.
The minister stated that as on January 2015, Gujarat government is yet to recover Rs 3,547.90 crore from Madhya Pradesh, Rs 1,372.57 crore from Maharashtra and Rs 505.77 crore from Rajasthan. (MORE) PTI PJT PD BA
When asked about what the Gujarat government has done to recover these amounts, Chudasama said that these neighboring states are "unwilling" to pay these amounts to Gujarat.
"Narmada project is between four states. Thus, Gujarat needs to recover various expenses which we incurred on rehabilitation as well as making ponds for hydro-power projects. Though we have been demanding it from our neighboring states for long, they are not willing to pay up," Chudasma told the House.
"We regularly send written communications to these states about the matter. We have also asked them to pay the interest on the due amounts. We are trying our best to resolve this issue. If needed, we will take initiatives to hold a CM level meet with these states," Chudasama said.
After former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, he gave his approval to raise the height of the dam from 121.98 metres at present to 136 metres.
Replying to a query about progress being made in raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, Chudasama stated in a written reply that permission to raise its height was granted on June 12, 2014 and work began the Gujarat state government initiated work from the same day.
As on February 26, 2015, the minister stated that various works are in progress to raise the dam's height. Out of 29 piers of the dam, work is underway to raise the height of 27 piers. For that, 31,000 cubic metres of concrete and 6,000 metric tonnes of reinforcement steel has been used, he said.
To hold the radial gates of the dam, embedded parts of 1,600 tonnes were installed on these piers, his reply stated.
On the question of cost and time limit to complete this project, Chudasama stated that around Rs 500 crore would be spent to raise the dam's height. The government plans to finish this project within 36 months, Chudasama said.