Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi today called on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at his residence. It was a courtesy call. Shri Modi met the Prime Minister for the first time after being elected as Chief Minister of Gujarat for the fourth consecutive term.
During the meeting which lasted for about 45 minutes, Shri Modi urged the Prime Minister to intervene to resolve a large number of critical issues pertaining to Gujarat State which have been pending with Government of India since quite long. All these issues have huge bearing on the growth and development of not only Gujarat state but on overall economy.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated the Gujarat Chief Minister for his new term and progressive development in Gujarat.
The Gujarat Chief Minister submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister and discussed the issue of raising height of Sardar Sarovar dam to 138.68 meter and sought his intervention on permission for construction of spillway piers to full height, bridge and installation of gates at the dam site. He said that the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam has been raised up to 121.92 metre in December, 2006 whereas the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of the dam is 138.68 metre. By raising the FRL the storage capacity of the dam will get enhanced to 46.8 lakh acre feet (almost three times the present capacity) and would facilitate creation of an additional irrigation potential of 6.8 lakh ha and nearly 40% additional power generation. All necessary pre-requisite conditions to raise the dam height have been fulfilled. By raising the height, people of Gujarat especially farmers will be benefitted immensely.
As is well known, desert development programme (DDP) areas are having more severe water problem than areas covered under the drought prone areas programme (DPAP). Gujarat has very large areas in Saurashtra and Kutch under DDP which falls under command areas of Sardar Sarovar. State Government has made all out efforts to bring water to these areas to improve the lives of people. However, very strangely, Government of India under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit programme (AIBP) provides 90% assistance in DPAP areas whereas DDP areas are not given this benefit. Planning Commission chaired by the Prime Minister supports the proposal to bring DDP areas at par with DPAP areas but the same has not been approved by the Government of India. Gujarat Chief Minister requested the Prime Minister to personally intervene in the matter and extend the 90% assistance for DDP areas also at par with DPAP areas, for all irrigation projects under the AIBP.
Shri Modi expressed serious concern on the issue of pricing of gas in Gujarat which is higher as compared to cities like Delhi and Mumbai. He requested the Prime Minister to ensure gas allocation to Gujarat on same price. High Court of Gujarat has ordered the Government of India to allocate the gas to Gujarat at the same rate at which it is supplied to Delhi & Mumbai. However, Government of India has filed a petition before Hon’ble Supreme Court in this case, said Shri Modi expressing his disappointment about the delay of the issue.
Shri Modi further raised the issues like Government of India’s anti–farmer policy and regulating BT cotton seeds prices adversely affecting the farmers in Gujarat State, flip – flop in allowing cotton export, non-payment of Royalty on crude oil as per Statutory Provisions, Coal allocation to Gujarat from nearer coal mines of Western Coal Fields for power generation, complete waiver on custom duty in ship breaking industry, etc.
Shri Modi said that most of these issues not only adversely affect the economic growth and development of the State but also put common people especially farmers and marginalized sections of society in very difficult and distressful conditions. Gujarat Government has been continuously pursuing these matters with respective Ministries/ Departments but in vain.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured the Gujarat Chief Minister to look into the issues raised during the meeting to find early solution.
Shri Bharat Lal, Resident Commissioner accompanied the Gujarat Chief Minister.
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