Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project – Update (February, 2023)
The Rajasthan State Government (Congress) allocated Rs 13,000 crores to the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project. The budget was presented by the CM of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot. He also holds the finance portfolio of the state. Gehlot Government wants the centre to share the cost of the canal. The canal is to run through 13 districts of the state.
What is Eastern Rajasthan Canal?
The canal will bring water to the water-scarce south-eastern districts of Rajasthan. It will fulfil the drinking and irrigation needs of the people here. It is expected that the canal will fulfil the water demands of the region by 2051. The canal will bring water from rivers in the southern part of Rajasthan. This includes Chambal, Parvati, Kunnu, Kalisindh, etc.
Rajasthan holds 10.4% of the total land area of India. However, it has only 1.16% of surface water and 1.72% of groundwater in the country. Therefore, it is essential that the central government provide aid to construct the canal.
The main objective of the canal is to bring “Surplus water”. Only river Chambal in the area has surplus water. However, water from the river cannot be brought directly as the area near Kota barrage has been declared as a crocodile sanctuary. Therefore, the project will require environmental clearances as well.