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Thousands vow to save water in Gondal

                                                                                   The Times Of India, Ahmadabad, 6th May, 2013

Thousands of people from 4,800 villages across the water-starved Saurashtra took pledge at a ‘mahayagna’, organized by Saurashtra Jaldhara Trust, near Bhadar Dam at Devla village in Gondal taluka of Rajkot district on Sunday to work for water conservation.
    “The Saurashtra Narmada Jal Avataran Jan Jagruti Mahayagna will help create awareness about water conservation, drip irrigation and unused borewells and also pressurize the state government to bring Narmada water to Saurashtra,” said Saurashtra Jaldhara Trust president Mathur Savani.
    Addressing people at the ‘mahayagna’, chief minister Narendra Modi hit out at the Congressled UPA Government at the centre for not giving permission to Gujarat Government for the use of radial gates on Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam. “I met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at least 15 times in this regard. But whenever I meet him, he just asks, ‘Abhi bhi nahi hua?’ (You have not got the permission yet?)”, Modi said.
    “We are not being given permission to put up the gates on the dam. It will take at least three years to install the gates. Their installation will help generate additional power, which can also be given to the Congress-ruled Maharashtra. But the Centre is not interested at all,” Modi alleged. The chief minister also came down heavily on activists. “These ‘five star’ activists who get funds from foreign countries are working to create hurdles in our work for development,” he said.Modi claimed that the feasibility report for the Kalpasar project is 80 per cent ready. “The Gujarat Government is going to issue a Rs 4,000 crore tender to bring Narmada water (Bhadbhut) to Kalpasar project,” he said, adding that the administration had worked diligently for desilting of the dams. The storage capacity of the dams in the region would double after June, he said.
    Meanwhile, Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil alleged that Modi was using Narmada project to spread a canard against the Centre.
    “This is just to conceal his own failures in implementing the state’s most ambitious multipurpose project,” he said in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
    Gohil told reporters Gujarat gets more than 9 million acre feet (MAF) of Narmada water which is its share. This can help provide water to people of parched Gujarat. Narmada Tribunal has made it clear that Gujarat can use the surplus water, but BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh has objected to it on flimsy grounds.