HomeBureaucracyAppointmentsCongress plans to pour ERCP water on BJP’s comeback in Rajasthan

Congress plans to pour ERCP water on BJP’s comeback in Rajasthan

Congress has strategically picked up issue of Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP). With one issue, Congress is aiming to target around 3.5 crore voters across 13 districts, which are going to be benefitted from this water project. These districts are – , Dausa, Kota, Bharatpur, Jhalawar, Bundi, Baran, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Dholpur, Bharatpur, Karauli and Alwar.

Congress is going to launch a one-week yatra from October 16 to tell people of these 13 districts. about how the project could not see the light due to indifferent of central government, who promised to bring this project but later on take off their hands.

Congress president Dotasara said that the party will expose the ‘miscommitment' of Prime Minister and BJP party who put spanner in the project. In this yatra all senior Congress leaders including chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Govind Singh Dotasara, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and other ministers will participate along with MLAs of these districts.

Why Politics over ERCP

ERCP project touches 13 districts covering 83 assembly constituencies. The BJP could win only 25 out of there constituencies, drawing complete blank in districts like Karauli, Dausa, Bharatpur and Sawai Madhopur. Congress could not win a single seat in home bastion of Vasundhara Raje Jhalawar only.

“Congress wants to consolidate its position in these 13 districts. They did exceptionally well in last elections as Gujjars votes enblock. If Congress looks to retain power, it will have to improve its tally in these districts where BJP is still comparatively weaker,” said Raghuveer Singh, a political observer.

The project was envisaged by Raje government, which had prepared a detailed project report (DPR) of Rs 40,000 crore. Had the project been prepared keeping in mind 75% dependability, the would have to spend 40% which is Rs 16,000 crore. Under the project eastern Rajasthan was to get 2800 McM of water.

The Project

ERCP aims at intra-basin transfer of water within the Chambal Basin by utilising surplus monsoon water available in Kalisindh, Parvati, Mej and Chakan sub-basins and diverting it into water deficit sub-basins of Banas, Gambhiri, Banganga and Parbati to provide drinking and industrial water to 13 districts of eastern Rajasthan.

The project also envisages irrigation in about 2.82 lakh hectare area (new culturable command area of 2,02,498 hectare and stabilisation of irrigation in 80,000 hectare).

The Development So Far

The project was prepared by Vasundhara Raje government in 2017. The state government submitted DPR to Central Water Commission (CWC) in November, 2017 for techno-economic appraisal. However, appraisal of the project could not move further as the project is planned on 50% dependable yield against the established norm of 75% dependability. Raje government spend Rs 10,000 crore on the project while the Gehlot government so far has spent Rs 700 crore besides announcing another 13,800 crore for the project.

Politics over Water

The union Jal Shakti minister , who belongs to Rajasthan blamed the state government for slackness and in competence for not getting the project included in the National Scheme (NPS).

Shekhawat said that the state government didn't bother to get the investment clearance, environment clearance and technical approval necessary for the project to be included in the NPS.

I challenge chief minister Ashok Gehlot, his competent minister or any official for an open debate on ERCP. Congress is just playing politics on the project misleading people by unnecessarily blaming central government for the project,” Shekhawat said.

On the other hand Rajasthan chief minister blamed Shekhawat for not including the project in the NPS. He said that Shekhawat, despite hailing from Rajasthan, didn't bother to do service to fellow people of the state.

“I have written several letters to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi – letters dated February 6, 2020, July 9, 2020, July 14, 2020, July 20, 2020, October 26, 2020 and January 27, 2021 – requesting him to include the project in NPS,” he said.

He said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has forgotten what he had promised about ERCP during an election rally in Ajmer in 2019.

“He was affirmative while promising about ERCP in the Ajmer rally. I have tried several times to remind him. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who is Jal Shakti minister, should have talked to the Prime Minister about it. Had Shekhawat requested Prime Minister about including it in NPS, PM would not have refused,” Gehlot blames.

The BuckStopper Reporter
The BuckStopper Reporterhttps://www.thebuckstopper.com
The BuckStopper, run by a group of seasoned journalists, holds the powerful accountable. The buck stops with them, as they cannot shrug off their official responsibilities.
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