The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today chaired a high level meeting on the drought and water scarcity situation in parts of Rajasthan. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Smt. Vasundhara Raje, was present in the meeting. Senior officials from the Government of India, and the State of Rajasthan, were also present. An amount of Rs. 911.64 crore has been released to the State under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), after adjustments of the State balances. This is in addition to Rs 827.25 crore released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16 to the State. A further amount of Rs. 434.25 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17.
The Chief Minister said that Rajasthan has faced drought for 61 out of the last 67 years. She explained in detail, the difficulties being faced by people in various parts of the State due to the shortage of drinking water. She informed the Prime Minister about the Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan, under which 7 lakh water conservation structures are to come up in four years, including one lakh by 30th June, 2016. The State is using the waters of the Narmada for micro-irrigation. The Prime Minister called for a mass movement to be generated for water conservation, and said youth organizations including NCC, NSS, NYKS, and Scouts and Guides should be involved in creation of water storage structures. The Prime Minister stressed on the importance of waste water management and rooftop rainwater harvesting. Global best practices in this regard were also discussed. The Prime Minister said traditional water storage structures in the State (Bavdis) should be revived in a big way through public participation. The Chief Minister mentioned the successful example of Bavdi revival in Kuchaman City, in Nagore district, and assured of taking it up on a large scale. The Prime Minister said the State should aim to develop one city as a model, for solid waste management and waste water management, integrating irrigation of the neighbouring rural areas and use of gas in the city’s mass transport network. The meeting ended with a resolve on the part of the Centre and State to work together.