Keshubhai picks holes in Modiís Narmada water supply promises

Former chief minister and Gujarat Parivartan Party president Keshubhai Patel Friday hit out at the Narendra Modi government, alleging discrepancies in the CM's pubic statements regarding supply of Narmada waters to the parched Saurashtra region.

Speaking in the Assembly, the 84-year-old RSS veteran sought clarification from the government on varying figures and facts in the CM's speeches.

"First, in Bhavnagar, Modi had said that at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore, 77 dams in Saurahtra would be filled with Narmada waters. Later, just before the December Assembly elections, Modi said that 114 dams in Saurashtra would be filled with Narmada waters at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore."

Patel, who is one of the two GPP members in the House, further said, "How come the number of dams increased and the proposed amount decreased?"

According to Patel, some Rs 58,000 crore have been spent in the last 40-45 years on the construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam and the Narmada canal network. But now, the Modi government is talking about spending an equal amount just on laying pipelines and supplying water for 77 dams, he added.

Patel, the eldest MLA, raised doubts over feasibility of the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Yojana (SAUNI) announced by Modi in the run-up to the Assembly elections. "They announced to fill 115 dams with Narmada waters. But I want to know if the government has got the technical sanction, administrative nod and survey investigation done on the ground?" he said.

Fastest growing taluka home to most malnourished kids in A'bad

Daskroi, one of the fastest developing talukas in Ahmedabad, has the maximum number of malnourished children in the district.

Located on the western fringe of the city, the taluka includes fast developing pockets like Bodakdev, Sola, Ghuma, Navrangpura, Vinzol and Jagatpur surrounding the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway, which has witnessed a massive commercial development in recent years.

On the flip side, Daskroi has 6,414 malnourished and severely malnourished children, according to the state government.

The government, which came under heavy criticism from the Opposition in the Assembly Friday for alleged high malnutrition ratio among children, informed the House that there are 34,280 malnourished children in Ahmedabad district, with Daskroi topping the list.

The figures were given by the Child and Women Welfare Department in a written reply to Viramgam Congress MLA Dr Tejashree Patel during the question hour.

With 879 malnourished children, Barwala taluka is at the bottom of the list.

Early this, the heath department had identified a little over 5,300 malnourished children in the taluka during a survey covering 23,800 children and had launched a feeding programme for them under the Mission Bal Sukham.

According to a report released under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme of the central government last year, of the 39 lakh children registered with the ICDS in Gujarat, 13 lakh were found malnourished.

The government told the Assembly that various steps, including providing nutrient diets to the affected children up to the age of 6, were being taken to address the issue. The government said that diet programmes from 15 to 300 days long are being held based on the requirement and condition of the children.

Mission Bal Sukham was launched in August 2012 soon after Chief Minister Narendra Modi's comments in an interview to a foreign publication, wherein he had blamed the state's high malnourishment levels on figure-conscious women and a largely vegetarian diet.

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