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Narmada dam work to begin on Oct 31
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Saturday, October 21, 2000

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Narmada dam work to begin on Oct 31

GANDHINAGAR, OCT 20: The Gujarat Government has decided to start construction work on the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) on October 31, the 125th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, his ministerial colleagues and senior officers will be present at the Kevadia dam site on that day.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting the Chief Minister had with senior ministers and officers to discuss arrangements to resume work on the dam and other components of the project after the go-ahead from the Supreme Court.

Later, Narmada Development Minister Jay Narayan Vyas told reporters that the work of raising the dam height from 85 metres to 90 metres was expected to be completed in two months. The government would then approach the Narmada Control Authority for permission to proceed further.

Vyas said funds were no constraint for the government. He explained that besides the budgetary allocations, the government hoped to get better response from financing agencies like the LIC, UTI, and banks in the changed situation. There was no need to approach the World Bank, he added.

The minister said that about Rs 10,500 crore had already been spent, and the government would need another Rs 10,000 crore to complete the entire project, including the proposed two river-bed power stations. Vyas did not foresee any serious problem from any of the three participatory States, or from the Narmada Bachao Andolan, as the SC verdict has left no room for any ambiguity.

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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