Calling the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project a lifeline for 13 districts of the state, Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Wednesday categorically said that the Opposition should not indulge in politics concerning the project, adding that the Congress government has committed Rs 9,500 cr for the project.
"There should not be any politics on this because 13 districts will be benefitted from this project. The state government has committed Rs 9,500 cr and will continue to work on it.''
His statement comes after Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat alleged that the Rajasthan government "is not keen on completing and implementing the project on time.
"Refuting his claim Sachin said, "PM Modi twice assured to make the Eastern Rajasthan Canal project (ERC) a national project. Now when the state government has started working on it, there is no need to create delusions.''
He further said that "The Opposition (BJP) is making false allegations as state Assembly polls are just 12 months away. We should work for the welfare of the people. "Rajasthan Congress MLA Sachin Pilot had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project as a National Canal Project.
In the letter, Pilot wrote that Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project is responsible for the welfare of nearly half the population (of the state)."Agriculture and animal husbandry are the major occupations in 13 districts, while the continuous decrease in groundwater availability has adversely affected the agriculture sector. Apart from this, many blocks are not developed due to the dang area. NITI Aayog has also included districts like Karauli and Dholpur in the list of semi-developed areas," he wrote.
He wrote that the availability of water is important for the development of any area and hence the concept of Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project has been prepared and placed before the Central Government.
Pilot said that Rajasthan covers 10 per cent of India's total landmass, and consist of 5.5 per cent of the country's total population. Despite this, surface water here is only 1.16 per cent of the entire country and groundwater is 1.72 per cent of the total."245 blocks out of 295 blocks in Rajasthan have been declared dark or critical.
Therefore, the Rajasthan government has developed a permanent solution to the drinking water problem of 13 districts of Jhalawar, Baran, Kota, Bundi, Sawai Madhopur, Ajmer, Tonk, Jaipur, Dausa, Karauli, Alwar, Bharatpur and Dhaulpur and to develop an irrigation area of about three lakh hectares in eastern Rajasthan. For the purpose of the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project is submitted to the Central Government for technical approval and financial funding," he wrote.
Notably, the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project aims to harvest surplus water available during the rainy season in rivers in southern Rajasthan such as Chambal and its tributaries including Kunnu, Parvati, Kalisindh and use this water in the south-eastern districts of the state where there is a scarcity of water for drinking and irrigation.
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On this occasion, Sachin has also praised Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra. He said, "Common people from all walks of life are spontaneously joining this campaign. He is spreading the message of harmony and brotherhood all over the country. Rajasthan is showing full support to this campaign."