Friday, December 7, 2012

Modi’s boys fan out with Sauni Yojna

Gujarat EDN
DNA  02OCT2012

Ministers address rallies on dam sites, no one knows when Narmada water will actually flow
DNA Correspondent l Ahmedabad

Never mind that it’s still in draft stage, but that isn’t deterring Modi and his boys from fanning across the state to create a huge public awareness campaign about the Rs11,000 crore Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Project aka Sauni Yojna.

The project proposes to fill 115 irrigation dams of Saurashtra with surplus Narmada water — an ambitious scheme that Modi government wants to completely capitalise on.

A full page advertisement on the scheme was published on Sunday in all the regional language newspapers and on Monday half a dozen cabinet ministers were out in the field. Ministers were busy addressing public at the dam sites which are proposed to be filled by proposed the scheme.

Hearing the speeches by the ministers, Kiritsinh Rana and Ramanlal Vora in Surendranagar, it looked as if water was about to flow from Monday itself filling up the empty dams in the district. However, the ground reality is this that there is no clarity when the scheme will be launched finally.

“We do not have any idea on the day and timeframe on when the work for the scheme will begin. We even do not have detailed project report ready for the same. Nothing, however, will begin before January 2013,” sources in the state government said.

The scheme was announced by chief minister Narendra Modi on September 25 at Rajkot. As per the scheme, a survey will be carried out to learn about Saurashtra’s topography and the scheme proposes to divide the region into four link zones – east, west, central and south zones. Narmada water will be filled through gravity in 115 dams of seven districts by 1,115 km long link canals of all the four zones.

Meanwhile, Modi cabinet has already started holding public rallies at the proposed dam sites in the region. State finance minister Vajubhai Vala, revenue minister Anandiben Patel, education minister Ramanlal Vora and minister of state for rural development Mohan Kundaria were in Rajkot district explaining the benefits of the scheme at various dam sites. Similar events are lined up on October 3 and 4 at Amreli district. Minister of agriculture Dilip Sanghani and minister for panchayat, rural housing Narottam Patel will be addressing the public at Khodiyar and Shel Duddal dam site in the district. Minister of state for energy, finance and industry Saurabh Patel and minister of state for cooperation and sports Ishwarsinh Patel will participate in similar event at Bhavnagar.