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Saturday 15 April 2000


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Narmada Jal Rakshak Sangh criticises PM

AHMEDABAD: Narmada Jal Rakshak Sangh, an apex body of pro-Narmada voluntary organisations, on Thursday expressed its displeasure over the Centre's attitude towards solving the long-pending disputes in the Narmada project.

Reacting to the two-day visit of the prime minister to the state, it said in a statement that Vajpayee did not make any mention about Narmada even when he had given a promise to the people that if returned to power, the Centre would expedite the project. The organisation said the prime minister should have visited some of drought-affected areas to see the condition of the people for himself.

The Sangh leaders said that the Union government should have realised the importance of the project and used its offices to remove the obstacles standing in the way of its completion by prevailing over Madhya Pradesh.

They said it was unfortunate that Vajpayee appreciated Anand's greenery while "he was totally oblivious of the fact that more than 8,000 villages of the state were reeling under severe drought conditions". The statement said that speedy implementation of the Narmada project was the only solution to the drought.

The leaders said that it "seemed Vajpayee has returned to New Delhi with a wrong impression about the real situation prevailing in Saurashtra and Kutch. A large number of people have started migrating towards the greener pastures of South Gujarat as there was no drinking water for them and their livestock."

The Sangh has appealed Vajpayee to visit some areas hit by water scarcity in Saurashtra.

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