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State Cabinet’s pro-farmer decision with CM Anandiben in chair in Agriculture Development Year

Even as Gujarat is celebrating this year as Agriculture Development Year, the State Cabinet with Chief Minister Anandiben Patel in chair here today decided to implement Rs.2,000-crore underground ‘sub minor canal’ project to irrigate 5-lakh hectares in 54 talukas, in the state falling under the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) Narmada command area.

Giving details of the pro-farmer decision, Gujarat Government’s Spokespersons Health Minister Nitin Patel and Finance Minister Saurabh Patel said that Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNL) will bear 90 per cent cost of the project in phase-1, the remaining 10 per cent to be borne by the farmers to be benefitted. Farmers could chip in their share through ‘sharm daan’ labour also.

About 4-lakh hectares are proposed to be covered by open channel and remaining portion through underground pipelines. The bulk of the project is to be implemented through gravity and would be installed diesel pump sets. When fully completed the SSP plans to irrigate total 19-lakh hectares. When fully completed the SSP has plans to irrigate total 19-lakh hectares.

Since implementing ‘Sub Minor Canal’ does not require to land settlement deal with the farmers nor any rebate is given, it has been decided to lay underground pipelines with the consent of the farmers to ensure that they do not spoil the soil or do not create hindrance to farmers to move their farm implements and inputs or final produces. The UGPL would also take care of the problems of water-logging and damage to canals.

The ministers said the objective is to provide seamless irrigation water right up to the farms.

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