Centre To Merge Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project And Chambal River Link To Ensure Supply In Water Scarce Districts Of Rajasthan


Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the merging of the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project and the Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal River Link.

The Union government has prepared a mega proposal to merge two projects — the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) and the Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal River Link.

This was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, after the inauguration of the Sohna-Dausa stretch of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway.

A draft plan for the major project, which will combine Rajasthan’s canal project with the Chambal river linking project, has been shared by the Centre with the state governments of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The Prime Minister added that the work on the Ken-Betwa river-linking project between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh is about to start.

Similarly with the decision for this new linkage project, the Centre is committed in ensuring a regular supply of water for drinking and irrigation purposes in the 13 districts of eastern Rajasthan.

Dausa is one of the 13 districts covered under the project.

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, earlier in January, informed that the ERCP development has now been made a part of the National River Linking Project (NRLP).

In a letter dated 16 January, Shekhawat said the decision was taken at a recent meeting of the National Water Development Agency Society (NWDAS) of the ministry, to link the project with the Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal River linking project.

The Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project

The ERCP was proposed with the aim to harvest surplus water available in rivers of southern Rajasthan during the rainy season. These include the Chambal river and its tributaries Kunnu, Parvati and Kalisindh, and use the water supply for regions facing water scarcity in eastern Rajasthan.

According to the state Water Resources Department, Rajasthan’s geographical area of 342.52 lakh hectares equals 10.4 per cent of the entire country but holds only 1.16 per cent of India’s surface water and 1.72 per cent of groundwater.

The ambitious project has an estimated budget of Rs 40,000 crore and will be a major initiative for interlinking of rivers in the state.

Among the state’s water bodies, only the Chambal river basin has surplus water, but this water cannot be directly drawn because the area around the Kota barrage is designated as a crocodile sanctuary.

With the development of diversion structures, linking channels, and intra linking of river basins, the ERCP, through its linkage aims to create a network of water channels that will cover 23.6 per cent of the area and 41.1 per cent of the population of the state.