Rapar (Kutch), April 9 (IANS) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Saturday laid the foundation stones here for five projects of the Narmada branch canal network for the Kutch district.
While Kutch has become a development model for the country, it would also become a model for green, agricultural revolution, Modi said on the occasion.
Modi urged the union government to allow early installation of the gates atop the Sardar Sarovar dam across the Narmada river and to bear 90 percent of the cost of the Narmada Command Desert Development Programme in the state.
The chief minister laid the stones for five projects related to the 360-km Narmada branch canal network for the Kutch district involving a total of Rs.4,600-crore.
The network includes two branch canals of 82 km each in Rapar at Rs.1,265 crore and three pumping stations.
Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel said that the canal project would double the income of Kutch farmers.
Water Resources Minister Nitin Patel said the Kutch region had started getting Narmada water for drinking purposes through a pipeline project since 2003 and it will soon reach the district for irrigation.
A state government press release said that overwhelmed by the prospects of Narmada waters reaching the Kutch region, the villagers of Suvai Saturday donated 100-kg silver at the Narmada canal ground breaking ceremony to erect a huge 'Statue of Unity' to commemorate Sardar Patel's contribution towards the project.
On the occasion a number of prominent people contributed sums of different amounts for the Gujarat's 'Kanya Kelavni Yojna,' the scheme to popularise girls' education.
A 12-year-old girl Fency Trevadia also donated Rs.12,734 from her pocket money for the fund, inviting praise from the chief minister, the government statement said.