Chief Minister Narendra Modi takes stock of spectre of drought with ministers, secretariesGujarat Government to face impending drought on a war-footing:
• Providing one-lakh new electricity connections for agricultural purposes at a cost of Rs.1,500-crore; • Completing all missing links in Narmada canal-based pipeline projects to supply drinking water in drought-prone areas; and • Growing grass as fodder to meet demand for next three months.
Gandhinagar, Thursday: Gujarat Government today took three major decisions at an emergency meeting of ministers and secretaries of departments concerned to tackle the specter of impending drought in the state.
The high-level meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Narendra Modi held at his residence, discussed for over three hours short-term and long-term policies and measures to be taken for drought management. This was despite being a public holiday on account of Rakshabandhan.
Mr. Modi said the need of the hour is to be sensitive to the affected people and particularly villagers, hard-pressed farmers and dumb livestock. He said the situation is unforeseen after ten years of adequate rainfall, but the administration is capable of tackling the challenges.
It was decided to provide one lakh electricity connections for agricultural purposes in the ‘dark zones’ on a war footing to save kharif crops at an expenditure of Rs.1,500-crore in view of the uncertainty prevailing in the state due to truant monsoon.
The other important decision was to complete all the missing links in the Narmada canal-based and pipeline projects for supplying drinking water in the drought-prone Saurashtra & Kutch and North Gujarat regions.
In another decision, the government asked the administration to grow grass across the state to meet the demand for fodder during the next three months.
Prominent among those present at the meeting included Water Supplies Minister Nitin Patel, Minister of State for Energy Saurabh Patel, Water Resources Adviser B.N. Navlawala and Chief Secretart A.K. Joti.