Ahmedabad: Gujarat Congress on Sunday alleged that Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been spreading "blatant lies" and unnecessarily blaming the Centre for not constructing gates at the Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam. "Gujarat Chief Minister is using the Narmada project for a canard campaign against the central government and spreading blatant lies to conceal his own failures and criminal negligence in implementing the Narmada project," former Opposition leader Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters in Ahmedabad.
He was referring to allegations made by Modi earlier in the day while addressing a gathering at Devla town near Rajkot, slamming the UPA government for allegedly ignoring the state government's demand to construct gates at the Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam and said, the Centre was only concerned about "nephews and uncles". Citing the minutes of the 84th meeting of Narmada Control Authority (NCA), Gohil claimed, in reality the Narmada Water Disputes) Tribunal did not permit installation of gates on the dam because Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh governments have not fulfilled their respective responsibilities like rehabilitation and other project-related work.
"The Central government has no role to play in this matter. But, since the Gujarat Chief Minister is feeling the heat of the scarcity-affected people's mood, he has resorted to this blame game," Gohil said. He claimed that as per the NCA task force meeting held on January 8, 2012, Madhya Pradesh has to rehabilitate 1,457 project affected families, while Gujarat has to rehabilitate 333 project affected families of Maharashtra, before closing gates of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam and construction of piers could be allowed.
"Instead of blaming the BJP-ruled MP government, which had objected to utilisation of surplus water by Gujarat, our Chief Minister blames the central government for petty political gains," he alleged. Gohil also alleged that Modi had "violated" the initial NCA scheme for the "benefit" of a few industrialists by setting up a Special Investment Regions (SIRs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs). "Around 28,000 hectares of land in the Bhal area was denotified for setting up Dholera SIR, 13,000 hectares around Sanand for SIR and GIDC, 45,259 hectares of Bharuch and Vagra for petroleum and petrochem SIRs and 16,674 hectares of land in Santalpur and Radhanpur talukas of North Gujarat has been denotified for SIRs. All these areas fall in the NCA," he added.