Narendra Modi announces new tribal district to clear his ‘debt’

Come January 26,Chhota Udepur will become state’s 28th district,after Gir Somnath

Written by Gopal Kateshiya | Chhota Udepur | Published:September 11, 2012 4:51 am

Come January 26,Chhota Udepur will become state’s 28th district,after Gir Somnath

Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced the creation of 28th district in poll-bound Gujarat,which will be called Chhota Udepur. Addressing a tribal sammelan here,Modi said the new district will come into being on January 26 next year.

“I have walked the streets and paddled a bicycle in Chhota Udepur in my youth and got so much love here. To clear my debt,I declare the creation of Chhota Udepur district so that residents of this region will not have to travel all the way to Vadodara for government works,” he said,bringing cheers to around 30,000 people,mostly tribals,at the event.

“The new district will have all the government offices and it will come into being on January 26,2013,the same day when Gir Somnath district is to come into existence,” Modi said.

Chhota Udepur,one of the four tribal talukas of the district,is nearly 110 km away from Vadodara and shares the state’s border with Madhya Pradesh.

Modi said a committee would be formed under the chairmanship of the state chief secretary to decide the administrative limits of the new district.

In another big announcement,the CM said a 700-km-long pipeline network will be laid to supply water for irrigation in tribal regions of Vadodara,Dahod and the Panchmahals districts from the Narmada dam.

“Narmada water,which flows in the sea,would be harnessed and supplied for irrigation of two lakh hectares of land in the three districts. The government would spend Rs 3,325 crore on the project,” he said.

Modi added that 164 new check-dams would be built and 1,200 community wells would be dug in these areas to irrigate additional one lakh hectares of farmland. This would cost the government Rs 675 crore.

He,however,did not give any time-frame for the implementation of the twin projects nor did he clarify if the proposed Chhota Udepur district would be covered under it.

The twin announcements are being seen as yet another attempt by the ruling BJP to make further inroads in the tribal belt,traditionally a Congress bastion.

At the sammelan,which was also a Garib Kalyan Mela,Modi gave away around 18,000 cheques worth Rs 21,000 each to BPL families under the Sardar Patel Avas Yojna.

The CM also handed over around 4,700 titles of land ownership to tribals and traditional forest dwellers under the Forest Rights Act.

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