Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the pricelessness of Narmada water as he “welcomed” the water from the river into Aji dam, dedicating to public the first phase of link-III pipeline of Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana. Addressing a gathering at Aji dam, Modi called the Narmada water “paras (priceless gem)” and appealed to the people to use every drop responsibly.
He said: “We have seen those difficult days when people had to migrate from villages (in Saurashtra) in search of work, though they had huge land. No one was ready to give loan to farmers on that land because of unavailability of water.” He officially welcomed the Narmada water into Aji dam by offering prayers with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy CM Nitn Patel.
“We must not forget that efforts and resources we have invested to bring water from Narmada and we should consider this water as God’s blessing (parmatmano prasad). He appealed to the farmers to adopt drip irrigation and sprinkle system to save water,” said the PM. He also inaugurated the phase 2 of link-III of SAUNI Yojana.
Reiterating that it was a “golden day” for Rajkot, CM Rupani: “During the Congress rule, there was never enough water in this dam even to commit suicide…the Aji dam filled up only 11 times since its building.”
“By closing the floodgates of Sardar Sarovar dam, we have opened the door of Gujarat’s development,” the CM said.
He also noted that Modi was the first prime minister “to visit Rajkot for a public event other than an election in 40 years”. He said that Morarji Desai had last visited Rajkot as PM in 1977.
Meanwhile, launching a “Smart Rajkot Hackathon 2017” for finding information technology-based solutions to issues facing the city, Modi said earlier there was mindset in the government that “we have all the solutions and we know answers of all the problems, but we have changed that mindset and involved the young generation in problem-solving through programmes like Hackathon”.