DECCAN HERALD Monday, March 6, 2000

'Centre trying to speed up Narmada project'

BARODA, March 5 (PTI)

Union minister of Water Resources Dr P C Thakur has assured project affected people (PAPs) that the government was trying to ensure speedy execution of the multi-purpose Rs 18,000 crore Sardar Sarovar project across the Narmada river at Kevadiya village in Bharuch district.

The assurance follows demands by several PAPs who complained to the minister about the destruction of their crops due to non-availibility of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam where construction work had come to halt due to a case in the Supreme Court, according to an official release here today.

During his two-day visit to the state, Dr Thakur, accompanied by the Gujarat Narmada and Major Irrigation Minister Jaynarayan Vyas, visited the dam site and some of the villages where PAPs have been rehabilitated.

Hs also visited the river bed power house and irrigated bypass tunnel (IBT). Mr Vyas told the Union Minister that the power house was ready for generating 250 MW of power. He however, said that generation of power will start after the height of the dam was increased to 110 meters. At present the dam is 85 meters.

He assured Dr Thakur that the Gujarat government would abide by the decision of the Narmada Control Authority on the issue of water usage from the IBT as Madhya Pradesh, one of the project benificiaries, has raised some doubts over its usage.

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