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Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani lays foundation stone of pipeline to pump water from Narmada to Aji dam

The CM was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone of phase-II of link canal-III of Saurasthra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana, at Aji maidan in the city.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot |
December 3, 2016 12:02:22 am
Gujarat, Vijay Rupani, CM Vijay Rupani, Narmada to Aji dam pipeline, Narmada river pipeline, Gujarat news, India news CM Vijay Rupani in Rajkot on Friday. Express

TAKING A dig at governments of the past, CM Vijay Rupani Friday said they did nothing to divert lakhs of cusecs of floodwater of Narmada draining into sea even as people of Saurashtra and north Gujarat regions were forced to migrate for lack of water. “Namada (dam) overflows five times in monsoon and lakhs of cusecs of water drains into the sea. On the other hand, people in Saurashtra, Kutch and north Gujarat kept on longing for years for a few litres of drinking water. They were forced to migrate due to scarcity of water. But nobody thought of diverting lakhs of cuses of Narmada water flowing into the sea. Had they thought of diverting every drop of the overflowing water to these regions, I am sure the Green Revolution in Gujarat would have been bigger than that of Punjab and Haryana,” Rupani said.

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The CM was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone of phase-II of link canal-III of Saurasthra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana, at Aji maidan in the city. The phase-II involves laying a 31-km-long pipeline from Machhu-I dam near Wanakner in Morbi district to Aji-I in eastern Rajkot for pumping Narmada water to the Rajkot dam. SAUNI is the ambitious Rs12,000 crore scheme of the state government to fill up 115 major reservoirs of arid Saurasthra region by diverting one million acre feet (MAFT) floodwater otherwise overflowing Sardar Sarovar dam across river Narmada in Narmada district in south Gujarat. The project aims to irrigate 4.13 lakh hectare land in 11 districts of Saurashtra. As part of SAUNI, water will be lifted from Saurashtra branch canal, Morbi branch canal and Botad branch canal of Narmada project and pumped to 115 dams through a 1125-kilometre-long network of giant pipelines divided into four links.

“I have faith in the farmers of Gujarat. Their hands are so powerful. Give them water and electricity and they have the capacity to satisfy hunger of the entire world. But this was never thought in the past,” Rupani said.

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The SAUNI water will also help meet drinking water needs of 4000 villages and 157 cities and towns of the region.

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