Friday , December 29 , 2000
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Power tariff hike forced -- CM


RAJKOT, DEC 28: Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, inaugurating the Sardar Patel Jal Sanchay Scheme, said the government was forced to hike the power tariff for farmers due to circumstances.

He said one tonne of coal now costs around Rs 700 while the transportation cost was nearly Rs 900 forcing the tariff hike. Keshubhai pointed out that Naphtha, another fuel for electricity generation, costs about Rs 25,000 per tonne. He said though former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had assured gas to the State for electricity production, the project was hanging fire for long.

However, the present Union Government has given its final approval for the project facilitating the availability of gas to the State Government. This is expected to decrease the production cost of electricity, he added.

Keshubhai said the Government has also decided to hand over co-operative dairies run by the Gujarat Dairy Development Board to the National Dairy Development Board. He said these dairies were making a loss of over one crore annually and hence the Government decided to hand them over to NDDB.

He said this would also help the farmers of Saurashtra to make extra income.

Regarding the drinking water problems of the region, the Chief Minister reiterated that no area of Saurashtra including Rajkot city would go dry and the drinking water needs would be taken care of.

He said from April about 1,600 villages of the districts of Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, parts of Rajkot and Ahmedabad would start getting drinking water under the Mahi-Pariej project. He said this would not be an interim arrangement and all these areas would continue receiving water even after the Monsoon season.

For Rajkot city, Surendranagar, Kutch and Jamanagar, the Chief Minister said planning of Bhaskarpura project based on Narmada water was in the final stages and the implementation would soon begin. He further said the Government has also implemented the Kalpasar project which would also solve the water needs of the city.

The Narmada project would take care of the drinking water needs and hence those irrigation dams which are now reserved for drinking water would then be used for irrigation purposes, he said. The Chief Minister said there were about 45,000 possible sites in the region where check-dams could be constructed.

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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