Centre sanctions Rs 730 cr for Narmada project

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Gandhinagar, Aug 29 (IANS) The Centre has sanctioned Rs 730 crore for the Gujarat’s Sardar Sarovar Dam project on the Narmada river for the current year and also committed soft loan of Rs 1,500 crore for the state’s other irrigation projects, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said on Wednesday.

Patel told reporters here that the money was sanctioned since the Narmada project is considered one of India’s 99 major irrigational projects. “We have set a target of completing the Narmada project by December 2019.”

Projected as Gujarat’s lifeline, it aims to meet the water needs of a major portion of the state.

The canal network of the incomplete project, whose command area covers 17 districts, is spread over 27,000 square km. It will cost an estimated Rs 13,000 crore.

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Patel said that the low-interest loan of around Rs 1,500 crore for irrigation projects in Gujarat will be repaid by the state in 15 years, with instalments starting after a three-year grace period.

Patel said that water level in the Sardar Sarovar reservoir had incresed to 120.93 metres due to substantial rains in Madhya Pradesh and it is expected to go up to 121 metres. “Due to closing of dam sluice gates, further water storage will be possible for use in irrigation,” he said.

He said the stored water was adequate to meet the drinking water needs of the state though release of water for irrigation needed to be restricted.

–IANS

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