Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, while inaugurating the Tarnetar Fair in Surendranagar district Tuesday, said that the district would benefit the most by the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana which will fill all rivers and dams with water throughout the year in this area. Tarnetar village is located 10 km from Thangadh village of Chotila taluka where three Dalit youths were shot dead during a protest in 2012. The issue has rankled the government again after Dalit flogging in Una on July 11. Rupani said, “Though the foundation was laid by former Central governments, the true implementation of the Narmada dam project has been done after Narendra Modi decided to increase the dam’s height.”
Speaking at the fair, the CM said, “Such a fair is a symbol of harmony and it helps to keep our culture and tradition alive. The fair has lent new lease of life to rural sports.” Rupani, who also watched the inaugural tug-of-war match, visited the cattle exhibition where farmers from the entire Saurashtra region had brought their cows and buffaloes.
More than 2,000 students from different villages participated in the umbrella dance, a unique feature of the fair, in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record in the category. “This year, we applied to the Guinness World Records authority, seeking to break the record of the largest umbrella dance – which is currently held by Japan for organising it with 1,688 participants. We got the approval and the guidelines to attempt. Today, we successfully attempted it with 2,000 dancers. We will send all evidence to the Guinness World Records authority and they will declare the new record,” Udit Agraval, Surendranagar District Collector, said.
Rupani, along with Ganpatsinh Vasava (minister of tribal development, tourism and forest), Rajendra Trivedi (minister of sports, youth and culture activities, and pilgrimage development), Atmaram Parmar (state minister for Social Justice and Empowerment) and Jayanti Kavadiya (minister of panchayat and rural development) visited the cattle exhibition. They also visited the Trinetreshwar temple and performed puja.
Officials at the information department, Surendranagar district, said, “In four days, we are expecting more than ten lakh visitors at the fair.”