Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has demanded NITI Aayog to release additional budget for Rajasthan to tide through scarcity of safe drinking water. She also repeated her demand of declaring Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP), a national project which envisaged to meet the water needs of 13 districts.
Raje was addressing the 4th NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on Sunday.
Speaking during the meeting, she said that the Central Water Commission has already given in-principle approval to the feasibility report of ERPC project.
With a national project status, implementation of the ERCP would speed up, she said.
She further added that along with scarcity, the quality of water which is available is a big issue in Rajasthan. “Of all fluoride-affected habitations in the country, 53% are in Rajasthan. Thus, in view of the financial constraints of the state, the centre should share the cost of surface drinking water projects in fluoride-affected areas on 50-50% basis,” she said.
Raje said that land-holding limit of 2 hectares for agriculture input subsidy under SDRF norms should be relaxed for Rajasthan because in several districts of the state, crop production was low, even if the land holdings were big. Also, the large tracks of agriculture lands are infertile.
“Therefore, considering these special geographical conditions, the SDRF norms should be suitably amended to raise the limit of land-holding to 5 hectares for agriculture input subsidy,”said Raje.
Raje further suggested for launch of a nationwide campaign for environment conservation to celebrate 150th Birth Anniversary of the Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi. She said that a Pan India Environmental Programme may be initiated akin to the Mukhyamantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan.