Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated first phase of the ambitious Narmada water-based pipeline project that aims to bring Narmada water to fill 115 dams and reservoirs in 11 districts in Saurashtra, a water starved and rain deficit region, and addressed his first public rally in the state after he became the Prime Minister in May 2014.
The PM had inaugurated the first phase of a mega-irrigation project – the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) – which is expected to bring relief to the water-scarce districts of the Saurashtra peninsula.
“Gujarat has adopted the Mantra of Vikas. This mantra will transform the state,” the Prime Minister said, speaking in Gujarati and detailing his government’s initiatives for farmers.
He had taken to Delhi what he learnt in Gujarat, said Prime Minister Modi, who was the state’s chief minister for 13 years till he became PM after leading the BJP to a sweep of the 2014 national election.
Modi said, “Whatever I learnt in Gujarat has helped me a lot when I went to Delhi. When I had took oath as (Gujarat) CM, I told farmers that what is most important for you is water. Few people did not like what I said then, they disagreed with me but I remained firm on my stand that water is of prime importance. The water table of Gujarat which was falling began to rise. Check dams were built in large numbers. SAUNI project is an initiative that will make every Gujarati proud. All of us should take note of how this project has come through.”
“A farmer from any part of India, give that farmer water and see the wonders the farmer can do,” PM Modi said at the rally. He called the SAUNI project an “initiative that will make every Gujarati proud.”
“I still remember when I met lawmakers of Saurashtra and talked about SAUNI Yojana,” he added, reminiscing about the initiatives he’d taken during his tenure as CM to move the project forward. Before the PM’s visit, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani – who was also present at the rally – had tweeted that SAUNI was Modi’s “dream” project when he was Gujarat CM.