CHIEF MINISTER Vijay Rupani on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the Rs 711-crore Tapi-Karjan irrigation water pipeline network at Umarpada in Tapi district. The CM also laid the foundation stone for an Army School at Umarpada and expressed hope that a Gujarat regiment of the Indian Army would be formed in future.
“The state government had started 10 irrigation schemes at the cost of Rs 3,700 crore in the tribal areas in the last few years and very soon people will get the benefit from these. Of these schemes, the Tapi-Karjan water pipeline network is being constructed with over Rs 700 crore,” Rupani said.
The irrigation scheme will provide water to 53,700-acre agricultural land covering 51 villages of Umarpada taluka and 22 villages of Dediapada taluka in Narmada district. Under the scheme, three new check dams will be constructed between Tapi and Karjan at the cost of Rs 276 lakh, while 103 existing check dams will be broadened so that they can conserve more water.
On Saturday, the CM said though Umarpada and Dediapada received 100-150 per cent rainfall, not all farmers received water for irrigation. “Development is not possible without water. The state government understands it clearly and for this, we have made arrangements in such a way that the water reaches each and every corner of the state and even for irrigation purposes. Government has prepared different schemes that have been implemented and by providing water for irrigation, we have made impossible things possible,” Rupani said.
Under the Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan, he said, more than 3,000 ponds have been filled with water so that it can be used by farmers even during rain scarcity. “We have also supplied water to the desert areas like Banaskantha and Patan where farmers are now earning more. The Saurashtra-Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) scheme has been completed this year and the water shortage in different districts up to Kutch has been resolved,” Rupani added.
The CM also targeted the previous Congress government in the state. “During the Congress rule, the state’s budget was Rs 8,000 crore, of which only Rs 500-Rs 600 crore were spent on different schemes. Of the total budget, 50 per cent was spent on salaries and other expenses, while only Rs 3,000-Rs 4,000 crore were spent on development works. Last year, our government had approved a state budget of Rs 2.10 lakh crore. We allotted Rs 15,000 crore to each department. We made arrangements in such a way to see that development works did not stop due to the finance,” the chief minister said.
Continuing his attack on the Congress, he said during the previous party-led government money allotted to development works were not spent. “Reason: there was a big hole in the treasury box (tijori). The corrupt hand was covering treasury box,” he added.
“In the last four months, foundation stones and inauguration of different development projects worth Rs 17,000 crore were done in Gujarat. During the pandemic, our Dhanvatri Rath services were also appreciated by the Supreme Court, which directed other states to adopt the ‘Gujarat model’. WHO has also appreciated the Dhanvantri Rath service… We have also launched different projects, like the highest ropeway, seaplane (which is the first in India), Ropax ferry services, and Kishan Saryoday Yojna for the development of farmers,” the CM said.
The state government spent Rs 3,000 crore on health-related services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Rs 3,700 crore relief package was also announced for farmers affected by heavy rain this year. “There is not a single complaint of corruption done in this distribution. Through Direct Bank Transfers, we have deposited the amount directly into the accounts of farmers and beneficiaries,” he added.
Rupani said he was working to make a Gujarat regiment in the Indian Army in the future. “Today, we have laid foundation stone of Army school in Umarpada with an intention that many tribal youths can take benefit of it and get education till class 12 and after that get direct admission to National Defence Academy and reach to the topmost position in the army. We want that in future Gujarat regiment should be there in Indian Army and in that direction, we are working ahead.”
The Army School at Umarpada is coming up at a cost of Rs 50 crore.
The CM said efforts were on to make the state an education hub. Earlier there were only 10 universities in Gujarat, while today there are 70 universities, he said. “Gujarat is the only state in the country which has IIT, IIM, NIT, Raksha University and Forensic Science University so that our students can get the best education,” the CM added.
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