Guj to extend main canal of Sardar Sarovar upto Raj boundary

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Gandhinagar, Feb 25 (UNI) Gujarat has planned to complete extension of main canal under Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) upto the boundary of Rajasthan during the next financial year.

This was informed by state finance minister Vajubhai Vala in his budget estimate speech in the assembly here today.

For this, Mr Vala said the government has made a proposed budgetory provision of Rs 3,440 crore as against Rs 3,193 crore for the year 2007-08 under Narmada Division.

He said the Central Government has declared 14 river projects as national assets and announced to bear 90 per cent of the cost of such projects. However, various projects developed on Narmada river have been excluded from the list. Gujarat was, however, determined to complete the Sardar Sarovar Project as early as possible and has been spent Rs 25,291.83 crore till December 2007.

The height of the dam on Sardar Sarovar Project, considered as the lifeline of the state, has been raised from 110.64 metres to 121.92 mt, as a result of which more water would be stored and made available to meet the requirements of irrigation and drinking purposes.

He said Gujarat has given 9,659.682 million units of electricity to the country in a short span of time from the SSP. With all the units of the power houses becoming functional, environment-friendly hydro electric plant has until now generated 1,000 crore unit of electricity and has yielded an income of Rs 320 crore to the state exchequer.

Mr Vala said after successfully providing electricity to villages under the 'Jyotigram Yojana', the government has planned for the first time in the country, to connect the villages through broadband network so that every household can avail of the advantages of modern science and information technology.

With the provision of broadband connectivity, the villages in Gujarat will become ''e-gram-vishwa-gram'' and the connectivity would make education in villages, telemedicine, veterinary services, market linkage in agriculture production and basic changes in the modern agriculture easily accessible to the masses, he informed.

The Minister said through this e-connectivity, gram panchayats would be provided with facilities of internet, video conferencing and multi-casting broadcast. Effectively, all gram panchayats would be able to communicate with one another with the help of voice over IP. For this purpose, a provision of Rs 40 crore is proposed for the next year.

He said the government was committed to provide infrastructure facilities to the villages that have a large population and are rapidly heading towards urbanisation. A provision of Rs 50 crore has been proposed for repairing, construction of new roads, street lights and non-conventional energy and to provide pure drinking water to every household of such villages.

He said for Panchayats and rural housing, the government has made a provision of Rs 681 crore as against Rs 543.51 crore made in the year 2007-08, an increase of 25.30 per cent.

Mr Vala said the government has planned to fulfil its commitment of bringing 30 developing talukas to the level of developed talukas in five years. For this, a provision of Rs 60 crore has been proposed.

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