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Sunday 13 February 2000

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Ahmedabad
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Minister calls for water harnessing

RAJKOT: Minister for small and medium irrigation Nitin Patel has said that irrigation would continue to suffer even after the completion of the Narmada dam as the waters would cater only to the drinking water problem.

Talking to reporters here on Saturday, Patel said 50 per cent of the land would be left unirrigated even after the Narmada waters reach Saurashtra. The state government could not leave irrigation at the mercy of nature, he said.

Patel said that 15 districts in the state had been declared scarcity-hit and there were problems relating to drinking water, fodder, relief work and employment. Seventy per cent of the rain water flowed to the sea unchecked and it was time now to harness such water resources for irrigation. He said 2,000 check dams would be constructed in Saurashtra before the onset of monsoon and for this a Rs 100 crore scheme would be chalked out. Of this Rs 60 crore would be spent by the state government and the remaining Rs 40 crore would be given to people to have their own schemes.

Patel said 15 non-governmental organisation were working in Saurashtra to harness water but he wanted more of people's participation in building the check dams.



The Economic Times


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