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The Indian Express: National Network
Monday, June 18, 2001

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Narmada dam to be completed despite obstacles: Keshubhai

Express News Service

Dhangadhara, June 17: Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel has once again reiterated that the state government is firm to complete the Sardar Sarovar dam despite criticism from a section of the society.

Patel was speaking at a function on Saturday to commence the lining work of the Maliya branch in Vasavada village in Dhangadahra Taluka. He said several hindrances were posed by the anti-dam activists in the past, but the Supreme Court verdict has silenced such critics. He said that the schedule has been prepared by the Chief Ministers of four states and the state government is going ahead as per the schedule. The 110 meter height of the dam will be completed by 2003 and the entire work of the dam will be completed by 2005, he added.

The Chairman of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam limited Bhupendrasinh Chudasma said the Maliya canal of Saurashtra will be completed by March 2002 and simultaneously the Water Supplies Board will complete the laying of the pipeline.

Keshubhai further urged the people of Gujarat to cooperate in the completion of the project. Patel said: ‘‘Even if the farmer was to lose a small patch of his field for the laying of the pipeline, he should not create any obstruction as it is for a noble cause and would cater to the drinking water needs of thousands of people in the Saurashtra region.’’

‘‘Earlier it was said that even after 51 years of Independence people in the state have to drink water contaminated with fluoride. Now no one would be drinking this water as half of Saurashtra i.e Bhavnagar, Amreli, Junagadh and parts of Rajkot districts are supplied Narmada water through Mahi pipeline and the remaining districts — Jamnagar, Surendranagar, Kutch and the remaining part of Rajkot — would get Narmada water by April 2002.’’

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