Canals with a cumulative length of nearly 6,000 km are yet to be constructed as part of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada project, the Gujarat government told the Legislative Assembly on March 3.
Replying to a written query by Congress MLA Arjun Modhwadia on the status of the Narmada project, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, who handles the Narmada portfolio, said canals with a cumulative length of 5,975.62 km are yet to be built.
Although the main canal running up to 458.32 km has been completed, 0.92 km of branch canals, 171.67 km of distributaries, 1,070.84 km of minor canals and 4,732.19 km of sub-minor canals are yet to be constructed in the State, Mr. Patel said in his written reply during the Question Hour.
He said pending works of minor canals would be completed at the earliest, subject to land acquisition and grant of permissions by various departments, as they passed through forests, sanctuaries and under utilities such as oil pipelines and power lines.
Since sub-minor canals are constructed in partnership with farmers, Mr. Patel said, pending works of such water channels will be taken up in a phase-wise manner after getting permission from farmers of the command area.
He listed out what he called some of the major components of the project that have already been completed – Garudeshwar weir and a high-level bridge on the downstream of Narmada river near the dam, five pumping stations on the Saurashtra branch canal, three pumping stations on Kutch branch canal and a 35-megawatt canal-top solar power project on a branch canal.
Mr. Patel said the work to set up two small hydropower stations with a combined capacity of 26.66 megawatts is currently in progress on Saurashtra and Kutch branch canals and the project will be completed by 2023-24.
While the entire project is aimed at providing irrigation to 18.45 lakh hectares of agricultural land, nearly 11.01 lakh hectares were provided irrigation in the 2021-22 water year (July 2021- June 2022), said Mr. Patel in his reply.