Centre dropped PTN link project to avoid displacement of tribals: Gujarat minister

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Gujarat Irrigation Minister Hrishikesh Patel on Tuesday said that the Centre decided to stop the Par-Tapi-Narmada (PTN) river-linking project to avoid the displacement of tribals in the affected region.

He was speaking in the Assembly during a discussion on the irrigation department’s demands proposed by the BJP government in Gujarat.

“The tribals, especially those in the Ambaji to Umargaon belt, felt that a large portion of their community in the affected region will be displaced. Respecting their concerns, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and the party decided against the project,” he said.

“Nareshbhai Patel, Ganpatbhai Vasava and many other MLAs from South Gujarat went and met Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and requested that this feeling be conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On behalf of the Gujarat government, I thank the PM and Amit Shah for dropping the project respecting the tribal communities feelings,” added Patel.

In her Budget speech last month, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that river-linking projects, including the PTN project, will be carried out by central government.

The PTN project was opposed by a majority of the tribals in south Gujarat and the opposition Congress party has been supporting the community.

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