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Few checkdams expose tall claims

The Times of India News Service

RAJKOT: A plan to construct as many as 10,000 checkdams under the Sardar Patel Sahyogi Scheme in drought-prone Saurashtra and Kutch has remained largely on paper as only 633 checkdams have been constructed in the past two- and-a-half months, according to chairman of the scheme Saurabh Patel.

This takes the wind out of the tall claims being made by various ministers that a large number of checkdams would be constructed to ease the crisis.

Patel said 7,500 checkdams (this figure is being changed off and on) were planned to be constructed till monsoon whereas only 633 checkdams had been constructed. It takes just one week to make one. Patel, an MLA of Botad in Bhavnagar district, said he had received the highest number of 5,059 applications for constructing checkdams from Jamnagar district and the lowest for 28 from Ahmedabad district.

Patel said only 47 of the 772 checkdams sanctioned in Amreli, 242 of the 292 approved in Bhavnagar, 150 of the 1,761 sanctioned in Jungadh, 44 of the 674 in approved in Rajkot and 100 of the 228 in cleared in Jamnagar had been completed.

In the worst affected districts of Surendranagar, Kutch and Sabarkantha, 126, 416 and 75 applications were approved. Similarly, Porbander and Ahmedabad got approval for 91 and 28 checkdams. However, not one checkdam had been completed in these places.

In Kutch district, while Rs 75 lakh have already been paid for constructing checkdams, not even a single checkdam was ready for use.

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