Gujarat Current Affairs - 2019
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Prime Minister has inaugurated phase-I (Link-2) pipeline canal of the ambitious Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana in Botad district of Gujarat. He laid foundation stone for the Phase-II (Link-2) of the SAUNI Yojana in Saurashtra. The design of Link-2 is to pump Narmada water in 17 dams spread across Botad, Bhavnagar and Amreli districts of Gujarat. This is considered as a second milestone of the Rs 12,000 crore projects to pump Narmada water to the arid Saurashtra region.
Link-1 canal will take water to 30 dams in Jamnagar and Devbhoomi Dwarka districts. Last year, in August, Prime Minister dedicated phase-I of the Link-I canal to the nation.
The entire SAUNI project envisages supplying water for irrigation purposes to 10.22 lakh acres of land in Saurashtra region. Under this project, one million acre feet (MAFT) of floodwaters of Narmada will be diverted to the Saurashtra region. In total, 1,126-kilometre-long network of giant pipelines would be laid to fill up 115 reservoirs in the Saurashtra region by diverting flood waters overflowing from the Sardar Sarovar Dam across the Narmada in south Gujarat. The project aims to utilize the floodwater which otherwise overflows the Narmada dam during monsoon and drains into the sea.
Under the SAUNI project, instead of open canals, pipelines are used. The massive pipelines of SAUNI project will run underground and thus requires no acquisition of farmer’s land and results in less water loss. The pumping stations for the project will be constructed on government land. The project envisages filling irrigation dams that already have canal networks to channel water to farms. Therefore, technically, SAUNI project is a link project.
Under the project, four trunk lines (Link I, II, III and IV) will carry water to the 115 dams spread across the 11 districts of the Saurashtra region.
Link-1 of the project (180 km) originates from the Machhu II dam in Morbi district and carries Narmada water to 30 dams.
Link-2 (253 km) originates from Limdi Bhogavo II dam in Surendrangar, and supplies water to 17 dams.
Link-3 (245 km) originates from Dholi Dhaja dam in Surendranagar and ends at Venu I dam of Rajkot district, carrying water to 28 dams along its length.
Link-4 originates from Limdi Bhogavo II dam and ends at Hiran II dam in Gir Somnath district.
Gujarat Assembly has passed the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to amend Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954.
The amendment bill makes the existing law stricter and provides for harsher punishment and higher penalties to prevent cow slaughter in the state.
- This bill has more stringent provision against the cow slaughtering and cow transportation for slaughtering. It allows cow transportation only with permit issued by Government authority.
- Only 7 officials are notified for issuance of permit contrary to 25 earlier. It does not allow transportation of cows during night hours. It also makes slaughtering of cow cognizable and non-bailable offence.
- It also raises the minimum jail term for illegal ferrying of cows for slaughter from 7 to 10 years against the current provision of 3 to 7 years. It also increases the monetary penalty from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
- Vehicle used for illegal cow transportation will be seized permanently by the Government. Earlier the government used to confiscate such vehicles only for six months.
Gujarat Government had enacted the Gujarat Animal Preservation Act-1954 as per Article 48 of Constitution for the preservation of milch animals, and for cattle that are suitable for breeding or agricultural purposes. It was amended in 2011 for better implementation of the Act.
States marked red do not allow slaughter of cows.