Narendra Modi unveils first phase of SAUNI project
The Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) yojana in Jamnagar district aims to address water woes for farmers in the region that faces drought-like situation
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the first phase of the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) yojana at Dhrol taluka in Jamnagar district.
What is the project?
To meet the water demands of Saurashtra region, the Gujarat government will launch the SAUNI scheme under which 115 dams will be provided with excess water of the Sardar Sarovar Dam from the river Narmada.
This will be done through a network of pipelines. The total cost of the project is Rs.12,000 crore. In the first phase, the government has constructed 57km of pipeline, which will fill up 10 dams of three districts of Saurashtra region.
Does it benefit farmers?
Saurashtra region faces drought-like situation. This project will irrigate over 4 lakh hectares of land and tackle water woes. The government claims that when all the 115 dams are filled farmers in 5,000 villages will benefit.
When was it announced?
In 2012, Narendra Modi as chief minister of Gujarat had announced the project. The completion of the first phase of the project comes ahead of the assembly polls in the state. The term of the house ends in January 2018. The government has set a target to complete the four phase project by 2019.
Why is PM Modi’s visit important?
PM Modi’s visit to the state will be the first after the Bharatiya Janata Party elected Vijay Rupani as the new chief minister of Gujarat following the resignation of Anandiben Patel.
What does opposition say?
Congress has termed PM Modi’s visit to inaugurate the first phase as an election propaganda and to give false promises to farmers in the state. The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, who have been protesting in the state for quota, have also threatened to stage a protest against Modi if its members are not allowed to submit him a memorandum of their demands.
PTI contributed to this story.
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