PM Modi reviews drought situation in Rajasthan; Centre allocates over Rs 1,345 crore

At least 19 districts, out of the total 33, are facing water crisis in Rajasthan.

New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday said it has sanctioned additional funds worth over Rs 1,345 crore to tackle the drought and water scarcity situation in Rajasthan after state Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a review meeting in this regard here.

"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," a statement issued by the Prime Ministers Office said.

At least 19 districts, out of the total 33, are facing water crisis in the state.

During the review meeting, Raje said the state 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 June 30 this year. The state is using the waters of the Narmada for micro-irrigation," the statement added.

The Prime Minister called for a mass movement to be generated for water conservation and urged youth organisations including NCC, NSS, NYKS, and Scouts and Guides to get involved in creation of water storage structures in Rajasthan.

The statement added that Modi stressed on the importance of waste water management and rooftop rainwater harvesting even as global best practices in this regard were also discussed during the meeting attended by senior officials from the state and PMO.

The PM also suggested that traditional water storage structures called 'Bavdis', should also be revived in a big way through public participation.

Replying to this, Raje mentioned that a positive example of 'Bavdi' revival in the Nagore district of the state has taken place even as she and assured of taking it up on a large scale.

Modi 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," it said.

Raje, on her part, sought allocation of Rs 10,537 crore to tackle the drought situation in her state even as she requested the Prime Minister to ensure a 'water train' for supplying water to far flung areas of her state, according to a state government official.

She also suggested creation of a national drinking water grid for all the states facing the drought situation.

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