Friday, 29 August 2014

Gujarat demands Rs 9,000 crore from Modi government for SAUNI scheme

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government has demanded a Rs 9,000 crore grant from the Centre for the ambitious Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) scheme to supply of water to Saurashtra. The scheme was announced by Modi himself in September 2012, prior to the Gujarat assembly elections when he was the chief minister.

Under SAUNI, the state government has planned to fill 115 dams of seven districts by a 1,115 km of link pipelines for all four zones.

Highly-placed sources in the state government said that, "Under the Government of India's Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Program (AIBP) scheme, the districts of Saurashtra are eligible under the grant criteria for the SAUNI irrigation scheme. Areas under the SAUNI scheme are drought-prone and have lower irrigation development than the national average. Under the AIBP scheme most areas under the SAUNI scheme are eligible for 90% central funding while a few areas qualify for 70% grants by the Government of India. The remaining will be funded by the state government."

"The total project is worth approximately Rs 10,000 crore, so as per the 90% criteria, the state government has demanded Rs 9,000 crore grants from the Centre. We are hopeful of getting the SAUNI scheme sanctioned under the AIBP scheme shortly," added a source.

Modi, while announcing the scheme, had said that he had a personal commitment to execute the SAUNI Yojana in the next five years, and that the scheme would end the water scarcity problems of Saurashtra. Government,Government Of India

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