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Gandhinagar, Wednesday: With monsoon truant in Gujarat, Chief Minister Narendra Modi today ordered releasing 1,650-million cubic feet (mcft) or 6,300 cusec water from the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) dam across the Narmada as an urgent measure to save the kharif crops from withering away.

The Gujarat Government spokespersons-ministers Jay Narayan Vyas and Saurabh Patel said the order becomes effective from today itself, The water is being released through the existing Narmada canal and Sujaam Sufalam pipeline networks.

They said the timely and urgent step has been taken to tide over the sudden increased demand for water to save the crops already sown from withering away midseason, owing to delayed monsoon in most parts of the state.

Earlier, the Gujarat Government had also decided to increase three-phase power supply for agricultural purposes by two hours with immediate effect from eight hours earlier to ten hours now, they said.

The 1,650 mcft water thus released is for irrigation in Mehsana, Patan and Sabarkantha districts in north Gujarat, and also for Sanand and Viramgam talukas in Ahmedabad district, at present fed various talavdis, Thol Lake, Fatewadi and Kharicut command areas. The step should hugely benefit worried farmers having sown kharif crops on about 25,000 hectares of fields, they said.

Gujarat Information Bureau

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