CHANTING THE mantra for success, “work for each hand, water for each land’, the former deputy Prime Minister and senior BJP leader L K Advani today said here that the developmental activities by the BJP government would be carried out focussing on the farmers and rural masses.
He was speaking after formally dedicating the Rs 142.27 crore Maan Major Irrigation Project here this evening. Advani also hoped that the BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan would come out of the BIMARU tag by the time the government completes its term. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan was also present on the occasion.
The 138-metre-long, 53-metre-high dam has a main canal and sub-canals on either sides that would be able to irrigate about 15,000 hectares of land in Dhar district. Almost 85 per cent of the farmers from 53 villages, who would be benefited by the project, are tribals.
Another important aspect of the project for the tribals in the area would be increased production of fish in the reservoir. It is estimated the reservoir would have the capacity of 46 million tonnes annual fish production generating approximately Rs 3 crore.
The 10,000-odd strong gathering comprised mainly of tribals who waited for well over two hours for the programme to begin. At a particular point of time, a section of the tribal women looked impatient and made attempts to leave the programme but were persuaded to stay on.
Advani divided his speech between BJP’s commitment to developmental activities and UPA government bashing, saying that the Maan Irrigation Project was envisaged and started in 1977 during the Sakhlecha regime but got bogged down during the later Congress regimes. He said he was fortunate to be part of its dedication to the people during the BJP government now. A section of the Congressmen here had been crying hoarse saying that the BJP was taking unnecessary credit for the project while credit was due to the Congress government, he said.
Coming down heavily on the UPA government at the Centre, Advani said, “Bhrashtachar se samjhauta aur atankwad se samjhauta - yeh aaj ki sarkar ki sthiti hai (Comprising on corruption and terrorism is the state of affairs of the government at the Centre today)”.
Continuing his tirade, Advani said, “The Prime Minister comes from administrative and bureaucratic background and appears to be honest but the same cannot be said of his government and his ministers.”
On ‘compromise’ with terrorism he said some people now wanted reprieve to Mohammed Afzal Guru but the BJP would approach the Supreme Court and back its verdict.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, while acceding to the demand of Manawar MLA Ranjana Baghel, agreed to name the Maan Project after the BJP leader the late Kushabhau Thakre, who was born in Dhar district.
Chauhan also announced a slew of measures for development of the region and the State as a whole. These included the unit for crop insurance scheme to be ‘Patwari Halqa’ instead of a Tehsil, recruitment of 10 per cent women in police force to reduce crime against women and seven hours of electricity in three phases for farmers which would hopefully be available for 24 hours in two years.
He also announced a sanction of Rs 1 crore for electrification in small villages and ‘tolas’ in Dhar district. Before the public meeting Advani, Chauhan and others went to the dam site where after performing puja, Advani, with the push of a button opened the nine radial gate of the dam. Minister of State for Narmada Valley Development Department, Nagendra Singh, and local leaders were also present on the occasion.