Centre assures Gujarat of more assistance
GANDHINAGAR: Union agriculture minister Sunderlal Patwa on Wednesday assured Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel - who is now in New Delhi - that the Centre would grant more financial assistance from the National Calamity Relief Fund to Gujarat for relief works and drinking water facilities in drought-affected areas.
Patel met Patwa at his residence and pleaded that the state was facing severe drought conditions in 45 per cent of the total 18,000 villages. He apprised the minister of the details of the works to be undertaken as part of the implementation of Rs 722-crore action plan to deal with the situation in the villages.
The chief minister pleaded that the Centre should sanction maximum assistance to Gujarat on the basis of the report submitted by the central team which visited the drought-affected areas of the Saurashtra, Kutch and north Gujarat regions.
Patel explained in detail the tremendous response to the ambitious programme of constructing 2,000 checkdams at the cost of Rs 100 crore and conveyed to the Union minister that the government had now plans to construct 7,000 checkdams with the participation of the NGOs and the rural trusts who have shown great interest in water conservation. The chief minister also sought more central assistance in this programme.
It was decided that a team of officials from the state would discuss the special scheme for checkdams with the officials of the central government. Patwa instructed the officials to give maximum financial assistance to this scheme.