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Minister says no to new dams in Madhya Pradesh

Digvijay Singh, chief minister of Madhya Pradesh in India, has stated that no new dams will be built in the state after completion of the three dams already under construction. Singh made the statement in March at a session of the Second World Water Forum and Ministerial Conference held in The Netherlands. He also said that the main task before his government was to see ‘how best we can rehabilitate the dam oustees’. Like the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh is facing the problem of rehabilitating the large number of people displaced by the Sardar Sarovar project on the Narmada.

Meanwhile, India’s Minister of Water Resources PC Thakur has given assurance that the government is making all efforts to speedily execute the multi-purpose Rs180B (US$41B) Sardar Sarovar project (SSP). The Minister made the assurance after listening to a group of villagers who have been severely affected by the recent drought in the state of Gujarat due to the slow progress of the SSP.

According to the state of Gujarat, the SSP would benefit 70% of the drought-prone areas in the state, and would irrigate 1.9M ha of agricultural land. SSP will also generate 1450MW of hydroelectricity.