Centre eager to resolve Narmada issue, says minister
Baroda: The centre is eager to resolve the issue of Sardar Sarovar project across Narmada river and the Vajpayee government has the political and administrative will in resolving the issue, union minister of state for water resources Bijoya Chakraborty said here today.
Chakraborty, who visted the dam site at Kevadia and rehabilitation sites of the project affected persons (PAPS) at Surya and Vadeli villages in the district yesterday, said that speedy implementation of the Rs 18,000-crore project was in the national interest as Gujarat government had already spent a sum of Rs 8500 crore on it so far.
"It looks like dead investment with no return on it," she said, adding there was adequate fund for construction of the project and centre would provide all assistance to it.
"The flowing of water into the sea without its use is national waste and a country like India cannot afford to waste water like this," she said adding, for irrigating parched land, meeting the ever increasing demand for power and preventing recurrence of drought in the state, completion of the project was very necessary.
Chakarborty said she was impressed with the rehabilitation package offered to the PAPS by Gujarat, describing it as unique because under it, each PAP gets five acres of land in command area, sustenance allowance and a house.
She said she was opposed to any demand for reduction in the height of the dam or review of the project. She also favoured an out-of-court settlement of the issue.