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Gujarat govt elated, work on dam to begin at the earliest
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Thursday, October 19, 2000

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Gujarat govt elated, work on dam to begin at the earliest

GANDHINAGAR, OCTOBER 18: Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel has hailed the Supreme Court's verdict, giving a green signal to the ambitious Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP), saying that the verdict is in keeping with the Narmada Tribunal award and ``has set at rest all controversies and uncertainties'' about the implementation of the project.

The Chief Minister was informed about the court verdict when he was chairing the Cabinet meeting this morning and, elated by the ``good news'', he immediately ordered sweets that were distributed among his ministerial colleagues attending the meeting. The Cabinet also hailed the SC's judgementand resolved that the work on the dam be started ``at the earliest''.

At his post-Cabinet press briefing, Patel said the country's apex court's verdict fulfilled the expectations of over four crore people of the state.

Seeking co-operation of the three participatory states, he said, ``I hope Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan will actively cooperate with Gujarat to help complete the SSP in time, especially when the SC itself has directed these states to implement the project as per the Tribunal Award''.

Patel said the government had abstained from politicising the Narmada issue and exercised great restraint during the years of legal battle, which has ultimately paid dividends for Gujarat. ``The verdict will furtherstrengthen the people's faith in the country's judiciary,'' he observed. Thegovernment will adopt a humanitarian approach while implementing effectively the resettlement and rehabilitation package which, he described, as the best in the world.

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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