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The State Governments of Gujarat, Mahar ashtra and Ministry of Water Resources of Government of India have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Par-Tapi-N arm ada Link Project and Damanganga-Pinj al Link Project. The MoU was singed between Chief Ministers from Gujarat Shri Narendra Modi, Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan and Union Minister of Water Resources Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal in presence of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here.

The Prime Minister extending congratulation to both the CMs and said that the development of water resources in an integrated manner and adoption of various short terms and long terms measures is the need of ours. Water resources projects including inter basin water transfer play an important role in mitigating imbalances of water availability and likely adverse impacts of climate change. He expressed his happiness that Governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat have joined hands for the effective utilization of the waters of the west flowing rivers. The project of interlinking of rivers will bring immense benefits to the entire nation and also augment the availability of water for various uses, he hoped.

The MoU, when implemented will enable Gujarat to get the benefits of Par-Tapi-Narmada link Project through en-route irrigation from the link canal. The drought prone of Saurashtra and Kutch will also benefit. The possibility of hydro power being generated in the power house located in this link project will also be explored while preparing of "Detailed Project Report", as provided in MoU.

Par-Tapi-Narmada link project will transfer surpluses available water between Par and Tapi to deficit areas in North Gujarat . It will transfer 1,350 Million cubic of water through a canal of length 402 km. by gravity. The total en-route irrigation benefits envis aged are 1.88 lakh hectares in Gujarat. Besides this, there is also a provision for generation of about 32.5. MW of power.

The Maharashtra State Government will get the benefits through the Damanganga -Pinjal Link Project by way of augmentation of water supply to meet the domestic water requirement of Mumbai city, while Government of Gujarat will be free to utilize remaining water spilled from Bhugad & Khargihill dams.

Gujarat CM said that the water of five rivers viz. Par, Purna, Oranga, Ambica and Damanganga will be part of interlinking river grid and will be benefited to both the States.

Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi apprised that Gujarat has constructed 195 major and medium dams harnessing almost all the rivers in the State. So far, total utilizable (live) water storage capacity created in Gujarat State is 20480 MCM which is 54% of the State's total surface water potential. Over exploitation of ground water has resulted in depletion of ground water table to the tune of 3 to 5 meters per year in some parts of the state. As such, most of the surface and sub surface water resources have been harnessed in the state. Having exhausted all available options, inter basin transfer of water is inevitable for sustainable long term planning.

Shri Modi further appraised that being water scarce state, Gujarat has already embarked upon water conservation programme and launched massive drive and constructed about Six Lacs water conservation structures such as Checkdams, Tanks, ponds, Bori-bandhs etc. including improving water use efficiency.

Gujarat knows true and scarcity value of water. More or less similar is situation in our neighboring state, Maharashtra. The two states therefore have come forward to take two projects of interlinking of rivers in our states, Shri Modi said.

Gujarat Minister Shri Nitinbhai Patel, Advisor to CM Shri B.N. Navlawala, Resident Commissioner, Shri P.K. Gera and Secretary, Shri S.J. Desai were also present during the signing of MoU.
 
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