State Congress demands White Paper on Narmada dam project and canal networkhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/state-congress-demands-white-paper-on-narmada-dam-project-and-canal-network/

State Congress demands White Paper on Narmada dam project and canal network

The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee on Tuesday demanded a White Paper on Narmada dam project.

The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) on Tuesday demanded a White Paper on Narmada dam project.

GPCC has asked the state government to give details of the expenditure incurred on the project so far,the estimated expenses to be incurred,and the work on the canal network for carrying the Narmada water to fields.

GPCC President Siddharth Patel said had the canal network been completed,water from the dam could have been taken to fields to save crops hit by failed monsoon.

Patel said it seems there is lack of coordination between Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Irrigation Minister Nitin Patel over the issue.

“While CM recently said the canal network would be completed by 2010,his minister Nitin Patel said it would be completed by 2014,” said Congress leader.

In absence of proper canal network in the command area of Narmada dam project,18 lakh hectares of land remains to be irrigated. “At present,hardly four lakh hectare land is irrigated because canal network is yet to be constructed,” said Patel.

He said at several places in Saurashtra people were getting drinking water after a gap of five to seven days. “If canal network is developed,dry areas of Saurashtra with no perennial river can at least get adequate drinking water,” said the Congress leader.

Patel said no work had been undertaken on the dam after the agreement to raise the height of the dam to 121.92 metre two years ago.

“Further rise in the height of the dam is linked to rehabilitation of the affected persons,” said Patel.

If rehabilitation work is expedited,Narmada Control Authority could give permission for installation of the gates and for increase in the height up to 146 metres.

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He said the move will further increase the storage capacity of the dam and prevent the water from flowing to the sea.