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generation in other parts of the country, and its feasibility cannot be assessed at this juncture.

On top of all this, the Gujarat Government has announced that it plans to complete the entire project by 2000. Such an optimistic plan would require Rs. 1000 crore to be spent every year for the next seven years, just to meet base costs. The SSP cannot even meet current spending requirements. Only Rs. 530 crores, were spent in 1992-93, out of a requirement of Rs. 820 crores. The SSP is about 53-63% behind schedule in terms of money spent on the project compared to financial schedules drawn up by the Gujarat Government and the World Bank. The Gujarat Government is devoting 80% of its Eighth Plan irrigation budget to the SSP (Gujarat State Budget 1993-94), bypassing the needs of scores of smaller projects in the drought-prone areas of the state. Thus it is not possible for the state to allocate more money for the SSP.

The SSP appears to be totally unviable from the financial standpoint. Currently, the Gujarat Government is unable to show financing for even 25% of the project. Prospects of raising money seem very bleak. A comprehensive review of the costs and financing of the SSP needs to be conducted immediately. A fresh decision on the financial viability of the project must be taken. In light of the reduced benefits of the SSP such an exercise becomes imperative.



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