Gujarat government on Friday came under heavy attack from former CM Keshubhai Patel, who alleged that the authorities lack ichhashakti (willpower) to complete Narmada project.
Participating in the discussion on the governor’s address to the assembly, Patel came down heavily on Modi government for acute water crisis in Saurashtra, Kutch and North Gujarat.
“The situation is going to get worse (in summer). Pipelines are there, but there is no water to supply. Government must act to arrange for water supply through tankers and digging up more borewells,” said the founder-president of Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP). This was the first time Patel spoke in the current assembly, to pin-drop silence and rapt attention of all leaders.
Bapa, as he is fondly called, welcomed state government’s decision to implement Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana, which will fill up 115 dams in Saurashtra with Narmada waters. “The chief minister has announced that Rs10,000 crore for SAUNI Yojana to Narmada waters to Saurashtra,” said Patel. “A few months back, he (CM Modi) announced Rs58,000-crore scheme to fill 77 dams in Saurashtra. I don’t know how the amount went down but number of dams to be filled went up.” Patel added that mere announcements made so far should now be turned into concrete steps in the interest of the people.
He also took the government to task over pending work of the Narmada Project, saying he fails to understand how the government promises to complete 48,000 km of pending work by June. “Govt lacks ichhashakti to complete the project,” he added.