In his first speech after his announcement as the PM candidate, Modi addressed a huge crowd at Rewari on September 15, 2013, and the speech was more like that of a RSS Pracharak than a man who wants to contest as a PM of the world’s largest democracy. We deal with just one of his misleading claims regarding his role in taking water to soldiers near the Kutch Indo-Pak Border. This is what he had said:
Even after so many years of Independence, water is taken to the soldiers on camel backs. Around 800 camels are reserved for this purpose. When I visited the soldiers, I saw their pain with my own eyes and friends, I ensured that a 700km long pipeline was made from the east of Gujarat till the Indo-Pak border in the west of Gujarat and pure Narmada water for drinking purposes was supplied. This happened because of my respect and feelings for the soldiers who are stationed at the border
The claim he makes is that because of his love and respect for the army men and due to his emotional attachment with them, he had himself ensured the laying down of the 700 km pipeline to bring water of Narmada to the Indo-Pak Border. The reality is completely otherwise since the Kutch drinking water pipeline is part of a much bigger project called Sardar Sarovar Canal and Mahi Pipeline based drinking water supply plan which was in works as far back as 1999 when Modi was not even in contention to be Gujarat’s CM.
As per information made available by Ministry of Water Resources, the `Sardar Sarovar Canal and Mahi Pipeline based drinking water supply plan’ has been prepared for sustainable drinking water source for Saurashtra, Kutch, North Gujarat including Panchmahal districts with an approximate cost of Rs. 4,700 crores. Extensive work of recharge and water harvesting structures has also been taken up to solve the drinking water problem of Kutch District.
The Narmada waters have reached 1,467 villages and 29 cities of six districts of Gujarat following completion of work on Mahi pipeline at a cost of Rs. 880 crores
It was further stated in the article that:
The Government has taken up work on the project of supplying the river water to the districts of Kutch, Jamnagar and Surendranagar, and is expected to be completed by April-May 2002.
Further on January 22nd, 2001, Keshubhai Patel also inaugurated the Mahi Pipeline in Gadhada, Gujarat
According to an article in TOI on June 29, 2001. the same Mahi Pipeline scheme had already been implemented and reached several villages and urban centres including Ahmedabad, Amreli, Junagadh, Bhavanagar and Rajkot districts.
Kutch finally got Narmada water on 18 May 2003. Speaking on this occasion on the day when water reached Rapar in Kutch District, Modi had in fact thanked the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for initiating the entire drinking water pipeline project for Kutch in 1985 and for sending a technical team for surveying the region. Rs. 600 crores which had been expended for the Kutch drinking water project was given by the Asian Development Bank for the 2001 Earth Quake Rehabilitation project of Kutch which was later diverted to the drinking water project.
Thus the drinking water project that reached Kutch district was envisaged, designed, funded and promoted much before Modi had become the Chief Minister and he merely inaugurated the project in 2002.
The pipeline drinking water reached the Indo-Pak Border on 16th August, 2013 and that too intermittently and the distance between Rapar in Kutch and the Indo-Pak border is around 100 kms. This part of the drinking water pipeline was also a part of the Rapar project but it took ten long years for such a small stretch of pipeline to be laid.
Modi however twists the story entirely, grabs all the credit for the Kutch pipeline project for which he had no role to play and highlighted the stretch of pipeline from Rapar to Indo-Pak Border which ought to have been completed by 2004 but was actually completed in 2013. This is the emotional bluff that Modi continues to play through out his speech and we shall deal with each and every bluff of his in our future posts.
Mr Modi please don’t lie to fool our army men.
Original Quote in Hindi (verbatim)
“Aazadi ke itne saal ho gaye, pine ka paani uut par bhar bhar ke laya jata hai. 800 karib uut pine ke pani ko lane ke liye tainat the. mein jab gaya, maine pida dekhi, mitro, gujarat ke poorva chor se pani uthaya, 700 km lamba pipeline dala, aur sima ek aanchri aakhri point par, pine ka narmada ka shudh jala pahonchaya”
“ya hota isliye hai ki seema pe kaam karne wali jawan ke prati samman ka bhaav hamare jazbe mein bhara hua hai, tab jake hota hai”