Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held meetings with administrations at the headquarters of three water scarcity-hit districts of north Gujarat – Banaskantha, Patan and Kutch – to review the situation. He called upon administrations to turn the difficult times into opportunity for creating permanent water resources and for freeing the state from malnutrition.
Chief Minister said that during the droughts in past years government exchequers were used to exhaust till bottom without chalking out of any farsighted planning. As Gujarat did not have permanent plans for water conservation, situations used to become severe. But this time, he said, Narmada water has been released to deal with water scarcity.
Chief Minister reviewed the various aspects such as preparedness for providing support for agriculture, drinking water, fodder, employment in rural sector etc. He exhorted the officials for becoming proactive and visionary for dealing with challenges in future. Even as the Banaskantha administration has done exemplary work of completing all the land acquisition works for the construction of Narmada branch canals, he asked the officials to complete month-wise work of constructing the branch canals.
He acquainted the officials about the state government’s decision of giving land along both sides of Narmada canal on lease to animal welfare organizations for growing fodder and building nurseries. He gave directives for chalking out a plan for growing fodder under NREGA scheme, which will also create employment in big way. He asked officials to focus on disilting of farm ponds and other water resources under NREGA scheme.
Chief Minister also gave directives for deepening of lakes and recharging water resources with Narmada water. He stressed on promoting drip irrigation among farmers with a view to save water. He also gave directives to provide electricity connections for agriculture in the three districts under dark zone.
He suggested launching a drive for creating a cooperating mechanism of community chaff-cutter in all the villages through which about 40% of pasture can be saved.
Chief Minister also asked to give priority to removal of malnutrition. He appealed to launch movement with people’s participation for distributing sukhadi during drought for combating with malnutrition.
Ministers Nitin Patel, Fakirbhai Vaghela, Minister of State Liladhar Vaghela, MLAs and district officials were present during the meet at Banaskantha. While at Patan meet Ministers Anandiben Patel, Ramanlal Vora, Jay Narayan Vyas, Minister of State Jaysinh Chauhan, Secretary in-charge Rajiv Gupta, MLAs and district officials were present. Collectors and district development officials of both the districts made presentation on the implementation of district contingency plan.
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