Monday: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said the state has indeed found a permanent solution to its perennial water shortage problem, thanks a decade-old people's movement for water conservation converting ‘Jal Shakti' into ‘Jeevan Shakti'.

Even as the State Government had taken the water resources to the people's doorsteps through UNO award winning WASMO's participatory distribution system down to village level, he said that Gujarat has now reasons to celebrate ‘Jal Shakti'.

Now on, he announced, the entire Narmada waters distribution and management system would be handed over to the farmers' water users' committees.

The Chief Minister was addressing the zonal function on ‘Jal Shakti' at Rajkot to mark the conclusion of Gujarat's yearlong golden jubilee celebration being held in different parts of the state from April 15 to May 3. He thanked the people who braved scorching sun and assembled at the function from places far and wide in eight districts in Saurashtra & Kutch region. They watched an hour-long audiovisual presentation on the success story called ‘Jal Shakti'.

Mr. Modi said that 50 years come in the life of an individual, institution or nation, but to make use of the time makes all the difference. He wished the state's golden jubilee provides six-crore people with new energy and enthusiasm.

He said the state's budgetary allocation on water resource to lay canals and pipelines has been increased manifold and the focus is no on taking it to untouched regions. He said that Saurashtra has only 16 per cent of the state's total water resources, while Kutch has two per cent and north Gujarat 11 per cent. He said water conservation has become the duty of a citizen.

Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala said the gigantic Narmada and Mahi projects have changed the face of the state under the Chief Minister Narendra Modi's popular people's participatory policies, particularly in agriculture and agriculture related fields. The nation has to take note of the Gujarat's success story.

Agriculture and Cooperation Minister Dileep Sanghani said that Gujarat has emerged as the growth engine of India's development. Ministers and other people's representatives and members of Planning Commission make a beeline to Gujarat to study its progress. He recalled that earlier tankers used to supply drinking water to the state's water-starved areas. Now, he said, the Chief Minister's will power has made the state free of water tankers.

Water Resources Minister Nitin Patel said that 3.5-crore out of Gujarat's six-crore people are now being provided drinking water from the Narmada project, for which the Chief Minister had to observe fast to press the demand for raising the height of the dam on the Narmada to 121.92 metres. In a water revolution of sorts, he said, 1.25-lakh check dams have been built in the state through Sardar Patel Water Conservation Participatory Scheme.

On this occasion, the Ministers honoured people with citations for exemplary contribution in water conservation, agriculture and horticulture. They included Shamjibhai Antana, Premjibhai Patel, A.R. Patel and Popatbhai N. Patel of Rajkot, Savjibhai D Dholakia and Bharatbhai V Vegad of Amreli, Mathurbhai Savani of Bhavnagar, Kantilal B. Ajudia of Jamnagar, Mukeshbhai C Hirpara and Gafarbhai Qureshi of Junagadh.

The winners of state-level competition in painting and essay during the Swarnim Khel Mahakumbh-2010 were also honoured at the function. They included Nitalba R. Zala, Ushaben S. Manthar, Atulbhai V Vaghela, Manisha D Bodar and Bhartiben J Parmar.

The Chief Minister unveiled books titled ‘Saurashtra-ma Jal Kranti', ‘Ahvan Jal Shakti' published by WASMO, ‘Khambhat-na Akhat-na Vikas-ni Pariyojna' and ‘Communitization of Rural Water Supply – The Gujarat Innovation'.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Ministers Ramanlal Vora, Purushottam Solanki, Vasuben Trivedi, Kanubhai Bhalana, Vasanbhai Ahir, Mohanbhai Kundaria, Parbatbhai Patel, Kiritsinhji Rana, Parliamentary Secretaries L.T. Rajani, Golden Jubilee Celebration Committee Chairman I.K. Jadeja, GSRTC Chairman B.S. Ghodasara, Goseva Ayog Chairman Vallabhbhai Kathirira, MLAs of the zonal region, Chief Secretary A.K. Joti, Principal Secretary (Water Supply) H.K. Dash, Water Resources Secretary H.J. Desai, SSNL Chairman D. Rajgopalan, Managing Director S. Jagdeeshan, Joint Managing Director G.R. Aloria, Special Secretary S.R. Bharthi, Narmada Secretary Aseem Khurana, Gram Vikar Secretary Ritaben Tevtia, District Collector H.S. Patel, DDO Nalinchandra Upadhyay, Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Dinesh Brahmbhatt and Rajkot Mayor Janak Kotak, among others.

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Enthusiasts of Wardha, Maharashtra welcome PM Modi at a public meeting
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Today, as the nation takes decisive strides, Wardha's blessings are crucial: PM Modi at Wardha rally

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended & addressed a public meeting in Wardha, Maharashtra. The PM was enamoured by the audience. The PM too showered his love and admiration on the crowd.

Initiating his virtuous address, the PM regarded Wardha as the land of a great confluence of spirituality and patriotism. PM Modi also reminded his audience that, “this election of 2024 is an election to fulfil the dream of a Viksit Bharat and a self-reliant India.” “Bapu envisioned this dream pre-independence. Today, as the nation takes decisive strides, Wardha's blessings are crucial. Your overwhelming presence, and the strong backing from Wardha and Amravati, signify that the aim of a developed Maharashtra and India is within reach. Maharashtra echoes today: 'Phir Ek Baar, Modi Sarkar!'”, the PM added with confidence.

Confiding in the massive crowd, PM Modi shared that, “In a remarkable decade of progress, this humble servant has honoured the unspoken, lifting 250 million out of poverty, illuminating every village, providing water connections to 110 million, granting PM-Awas to 40 million impoverished families, and integrating over 500 million into the economy through banking. Each achievement is a testament to our collective dedication and determination towards a brighter, more inclusive future."

PM Modi did not hesitate to expose the realities of the opposition and remarked, “The thinking of Congress and Indi Alliance has always been anti-development and anti-farmer. That is why the condition of farmers in the country has remained so bad for decades.” “A stone laid in the family's name remained unfinished for generations, causing suffering in Vidarbha under Congress rule. Today, our government prioritizes Vidarbha's needs, with Eknath Shinde, Devendra Fadnavis, and Ajit Pawar committed to serving you all,” the PM further mentioned.

Sharing the plight of farmers from Wardha and Amravati, PM Modi observed that, “The irrigation crisis in Wardha and Amravati has long plagued local farmers, with past governments failing to address it sincerely. In 2014, 99 major irrigation projects nationwide, many in Maharashtra, were stalled for decades,” but he also gave hope that, “Under the NDA government, rapid progress is underway, notably with the imminent completion of the Lower Wardha and Lower Pedhi Irrigation Projects, promising to be a lifeline for farmers. Additionally, numerous smaller projects aim to boost irrigation across the region."

“We have separately identified the oranges of Amravati and turmeric of Wardha under ODOP so that the farmers here can benefit from it. For financial assistance to farmers, money from PM Kisan Samman Nidhi is also being sent directly into the accounts,” PM Modi shared.

In a sorry state of affairs, the PM launched his blistering attack against the opposition and said, “In contrast to BJP's development agenda, the INDI Alliance struggles with a lack of substantial issues, resorting to a politics of insults. Inviting leaders opposed to Sanatan principles to Maharashtra, they boycott events like the Ayodhya Ram temple inauguration, dismissing it as hypocrisy. However, their denial contradicts the nation's deep devotion on such occasions, revealing the true face of the INDI Alliance.”
“Eknath Shinde ji's government has resolved to redevelop ‘Lahanuji Maharaj Sansthan’ here. If these people become strong then they will oppose that also. Therefore, you have to account for the sins of Congress on this land of Shivaji Maharaj,” the PM warned.

"The Congress party admits defeat and resorts to threats of chaos post-elections. Their inclination towards constitutional suppression and emergency echoes past tactics. However, the nation desires a resolute, stable government. Voting for Congress or the INDI Alliance is futile.” Hence, PM Modi urged that “Maharashtra's votes must prioritize development. To all on April 26th, let's vote for progress."

In his concluding remarks, PM Modi encouraged the audience to ensure a resounding victory for the BJP by casting record-breaking votes. He expressed gratitude to every individual in the crowd and motivated them to spread his heartfelt regards to every doorstep in Maharashtra.