Chief minister Keshubhai Patel on Saturday said that there would be no dialogue with the Madhya Pradesh government over the Sardar Sarovar Project unless it agrees to the 110-m height.
Mr Patel reflected the state governments uncompromising attitude on the dam height, even as Union water resources minister Arjun Shetty announced that the Centre would extend all kinds of help to complete the SSP.
Mr Sethi inaugurated the Mahi aqueduct over the Mahi river. The Mahi aqueduct, the second largest in the world, has been constructed across the Mahi crossing the Narmada main canal. The aqueduct has been built at a cost of Rs 137 crores in a nine-year
Mr Patel said that Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh was backing out on a height of 436 feet, which chief ministers of all the four states agreed when Mr Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister. What problem does Madhya Pradesh has when Gujarat has
agreed to rehabilitate all the PAPs of MP to a height of 455 feet, Mr Patel said. He added that the state government had provided details about the SSP to the Supreme Court and warned that Gujarat would not tolerate any hurdles in the project.
Mr Patel criticised Madhya Pradesh for not allowing Gujarat to use its share of nine million cubic feet water. He pointed out that Madhya Pradesh is unable to use its share of 18 million cubic feet water. Madhya Pradesh has not completed any of the
projects, the chief minister said. The Union minister said that it was important to extend help for the SSP as other states will also be benifitted.
Mr Sethi said it was the duty of the Central government to complete pending projects of over 20 years in a time bound manner. Narmada and major irrigation minister Jaynarayan Vyas reminded that the state government has not wasted any time and has completed
work on the main and branch canals in order to make water available in areas of North Gujarat, Kutch and Rajasthan.
Mr Vyas appreciated the Centres concern for the SSP. He mentioned that in the last two-and-a-half year, the Centre has given a nod for tax-free bonds for investment in the Project, has said no to the World Commission on Dams and facilitated way for
bringing machinery from Japan.
That the Centre has given Rs 415 crores for the SSP from Rs. 1,200 crore for the Accelerated Irrigation Programme shows the importance given to the Project, he said.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Sethi visited the dam site. The minister visited the power house, plantations made near the dam site and other areas. Mr Sethi hoped that the SSP issue would soon be sorted out.