Raj govt's claims to people are unreliable: Medha Patkar

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Jaipur, Apr 8: Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar today said the Rajasthan Government's promises for to supply Narmada water for drinking and irrigation purpose in Jalore and Barmer districts, were ''unreliable'' and ''unrealistic'' as regular water supply to the state was unlikely before 2010.

Talking to reporters here, Ms Patkar said neither the arrangements required by the governments in Gujarat and Rajasthan, for water supply to the tail-enders of Kutch, Saurastra and Rajasthan were completed nor the plans were viable. She said the water was released recently in Rajasthan from Narmada Canal in a haste without due preparations. Merely three days after the release of water to Rajasthan, the Gujarat Irrigation Minister had told the state assembly that water supply was unlikely before 2010 even in upstream Bansakantha district.

She said initially Rajasthan Government had planned to provide water to irrigate 75,000 hectare where as now the government was claiming to irrigate 2.4 lakh hectare by application of sprinkle irrigation system.

Likewise, there was contradiction even in number of villages proposed to provide drinking water in Jalore and Barmer district.

Earlier, the state government had planned the supply of drinking water in 1336 villages but now the number of these villages was being put at 1600.

Moreover, the plans and projections being made by the Rajasthan Government for providing water were also contradictory and unlikely to be realised as the same turned to be unrealistic in Gujarat itself.

''Therefore, the release of Narmada water in Jalore district recently by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje was a mere political stunt being played keeping an eye on the assembly polls'', Ms Patkar said.

She said people of Rajasthan should neither unduly depend upon prospective supply from Narmada nor discard their traditional water supply sources.

UNI

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