January 12, 2022 3:54:13 am
Members of the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh staged a protest in Bhuj town of Kutch on Tuesday, demanding that the government expedite the work to supply one million acre feet (MAF) floodwaters of Narmada river to Kutch that was announced more than a decade ago.
Hundreds of farmers gathered on Tin City Ground on Mundra Road of Bhuj town and demanded that the government start work on creating canals for flowing one MAF floodwaters of Narmada dam to Kutch.
“The allocation of one MAF floodwaters flowing over Narmada dam was announced by Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. Last year, then chief minister Vijay Rupani gave in-principle approval to the project and allocated Rs 3,475 crore for the first phase. The project has not even been accorded administrative approval,” said Shyamji Mayatra, vice-president of Gujarat unit of BKS.
The farmer leader from Kutch said, “The government has created infrastructure in north Gujarat and Saurashtra for supplying their share of one MAF waters each but nothing has happened in Kutch. Farmers of Kutch, a border district, need water. In the long run, it will help in keeping our border secure.”
The protest began at 10 am and went on till 4 pm. “We have the support of 400 village panchayats of Kutch. If the government does not grant administrative approval to the project by January 21, we shall launch an agitation,” said the BKS leader.
While Kutch collector could not be reached for a comment, officers of the irrigation department said that the detailed project report (DPR) will have to be modified. “The project envisages lifting Narmada water from Tappar dam and pumping it to around 100 reservoirs of Kutch by digging seven link canals. The government has given in-principle approval to the project and has allotted Rs 3,475 crore for the first phase in which four link canals are proposed to be constructed. However, DPR of the project was prepared in 2008-’09 and ground situation has changed since. Therefore, the DRP will have to be modified,” said an officer on the condition of anonymity.
The Kutch branch canal (KBC) of the Narmada dam project is to take Narmada waters to Modkuba village of Mandvi taluka in western Kutch. However, work of digging this canal is ongoing and recently, water reached till Pragpar in Mundra taluka. KBC also feeds Tappar dam in Anjar taluka in eastern Kutch.
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