“Even as the state government is setting up 75,000-km long network of Narmada branch canals covering all parts of the state, some cynics will try to impede this mammoth task. But state government will not let them succeed” said Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi while laying foundation stone for the Morbi branch canal of Narmada.
Rs.520-crore Morbi branch canal will unite the waters of Narmada and Machu rivers and will be instrumental in providing irrigation to 1.5-lakh-acre land of Surendranagar district besides providing potable water to villages of seven talukas.
Within a span of one week, state government will kick-start various Narmada branch canal works costing around Rs.9100-crore throughout the regions of Saurashtra and Kutch.
Chief Minister, on the occasion, regretted that it took 50 years to take the Narmada water to Saurashtra and Kutch but he said his government is not interested in figuring out who were responsible for the delay. All the governments have chipped in to take the Narmada project to its present level, he said.
“Now some cynics are obstructing the work of placing gates over Narmada dam, but the efforts of the state government will bear fruits, if not today, tomorrow” he said. With building gates over the dam, state government does not want anybody’s land to be submerged; instead it wants to conserve the water for better use. Narmada water has changed the face of rural economy and economically empowered the cities also, Chief Minister added.
The same faultfinders, he said, are leading the farmers astray in giving their lands for the canal works but his government, with a new pro-farmer scheme for land acquisition, is getting great response from the farmer community.
State government has reduced the premium rates by 50% in the cases where new-condition lands are to be converted into old-condition land for agricultural purpose. This step alone has doubled the price of farmer’s lands, he said.
Revenue Minister Smt. Anandiben Patel lauded Chief Minister’s efforts for speedy completion of Narmada dam project. She recalled that Chief Minister even sat on 72-hour fast when hurdles were put before the Narmada work in the past. She also urged farmers to cooperate the land acquisition process saying that the canal works will unfold a prosperous future in terms of agriculture and potable water.
Finance Minister Shri Vaju Vala and MLA Shri Kanti Amrutiya elaborated on the benefits people of Morbi will receive with the Narmada branch canal.
Industries and trade organizations of Morbi jointly gave a cheque of Rs.21-lakh, while two firms based in Hyderabad gave cheques of Rs.5-lakh each to Chief Minister’s Kanya Kelavani Nidhi.
MP Smt.Punamben Jat, MLAs Smt.Jasumatiben Korat, Smt.Bhanuben Babariya, Smt.Vandanaben Makwana, Shri Pravin Mankadiya, Shri Govindbhai Patel, Dr.Bharat Bodhara and people in large number were present on the occasion.