April 15, 2009 3:19:45 am
The decision of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) authorities to release water during the month of April has caught the eyes of the Congress leaders,who claim that the Gujarat government is trying to woo the farmers by providing them water for the Rabi season.
According to Congress sources,the SSNNL authorities were reluctant to release water for irrigation and industrial purpose in the areas around the dam during the Rabi season last year. But this time,the authorities claim to have surplus capacity in the reservoir to provide water even during April,they have alleged.
They said the release has been timed keeping the poll dates in mind,and is politically motivated.
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Siddharth Patel said there is least possibility of surplus water in the reservoir during April. As per my knowledge,there is no surplus water available during the month of April. Lok Sabha Chunaav ka time hai,agar sarkar (BJP) ko aise hi voters lubhane hain toh lubhane dijiye (Lok Sabha elections are around,but if the BJP wants to woo voters like this,let them do so, Patel said.
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Elsewhere,SSNNL Chairman N V Patel has claimed that they are providing water during April due to demands made by farmers,
This is the Rabi crop season. Farmers always demand that we extend the duration of water release, said Patel.
In March 2008,Newsline had reported about former SSNNL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) P K Lahiri stating that the main priority for SSNNL is to supply potable water in Kutch and Saurashtra.
The water was supplied only for two months,in February and March. Only after repetitive demands by the farmers,the deadline was extended in April.
This year,every day nearly 4,455 cusecs of water is released to the main canal for irrigation and industrial purpose. The level in the reservoir is 115.33 MTS as on April 14.
SSNNL officials could not give details about the break-up of water supply for industrial and irrigation usage.
Meanwhile,SSNNL Managing Director Radhakant Tripathi said,There is the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) appointed by the Sardar Sarovar Advisory committee,headed by V K Jyoti,which decides on the amount of water to be released for fodder and domestic purpose.
He added: SSNNL holds the responsibility of the allocation of water till the month of June. It has surplus water till that month. The committee will again meet on April 15 to see if there is any misuse,and ensure that there is no shortage of water.
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