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Rehabilitation benefits have been provided to all 32,160 families affected by Sardar Sarovar project, who had opted to be rehabilitated in Madhya Pradesh. Out of total 37,975 families of MP affected by 138.68m final dam height of the project 5815 had to be rehabilitated in Gujarat state. Out of these 5815 families, rehabilitation of 5782 families had also been completed in Gujarat. Now only 33 families have to be rehabilitated. This was informed during a review of rehabilitation progress under Narmada Valley projects by vice chairman of Narmada Valley Development Authority Pradeep Bhargava here at Narmada Bhavan. Bhargava was chairing a meeting to review the rehabilitation status of three major projects of the valley namely-Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP), Inidra Sagar Project (ISP) and Omkareshwar (OSP). The Director Rehabilitation, RK Gupta informed that as much as 22438 residential plots had been allotted to the affected families in 88 rehabilitation sites developed for resettlement. There was option before displace families to take residential plot of 60x90 feet size free of cost or go for Rs 50,000 in lieu of plot. Using this option, 7806 families opted to take cash director rehabilitation informed. Bhargava reviewing the rehabilitation status of ISP and OSP directed officials to make frequent visits in the project affected areas so to address the problems of PAF's. He said that field officers should discharge rehabilitation work with full sensitivity besides keeping a strict vigil on encroachments in the areas vacated by PAF's. Bhargava also reviewed the work of shifting temples and monuments of archeological importance from the reservoir areas of these projects with Director Archeology Pramod Agarwal. He asked to prepare a time bound program to shift the remaining monuments before the onset of monsoon. He said that relocation sites of temples should be decided in consultation with local people and district Administration. Vice Chairman informed that a decision has been taken to cover project-affected families under various schemes of rural development. The officers have been put to specific training to make survey and prepare working plan for implementing various rural development and employment oriented schemes for displaced population of the Narmada Valley. He said that construction of irrigation field channels under Narmada Valley Projects would be undertaken in National Rural Employment Guaranty Scheme. It may be mentioned here that SSP would provide 57% of its total power generation to MP, which amounts to 826.5 MW. The state had already started drawing its power share.

JAMUGURIHAT, Feb 13

Groundwater plays a critical role in the agricultural economy of Gujarat state. The lack of surface water resources has put more pressure on groundwater to meet both agriculture as well as industrial and domestic sector demand. More than 90 per cent of the total irrigated area is covered through groundwater source in the region. The groundwater development in the region has taken place in an exponential manner. There is heavy overdraft, exceeding the annual rechargeable capacity in some areas.

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