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Rajasthan govt launches massive water conservation campaign

Rajasthan also joins Centre’s UDAY scheme meant for revival of discoms.

By: Express News Service | Jaipur |
January 28, 2016 3:40:09 am

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Wednesday launched the Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan (MJSA) in 3,500 villages in the state, touted to be the country’s largest water conservation campaign in rural areas.

The “crowdsourcing” campaign aims to enable over 21,000 villages in arid Rajasthan to become self-reliant for their water needs by 2020.
The flagship programme has been promoted by the chief minister personally, with sustained appeals to various sections of the society, including citizens, NGOs, corporate, caste and religious leaders and the media, to contribute to it.

Requiring a budget of Rs 3,600 crore for the first phase of the campaign, ending June 30, 2016, the programme has been estimated to be falling short by Rs 1,200 crore.

Raje hopes this will be met using crowdsourcing resources, with participation from citizens and other concerned organizations.

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While Raje has pledged her own salary for six months to the campaign, cabinet ministers have committed three months’ salary. The state’s MLAs have followed suit by pledging a month’s salary and bureaucrats have promised to contribute a day’s salary to the campaign.

“We have collected over Rs 7.1 crore here Wednesday from local citizens, social groups and business leaders. The entire police force has pledged to donate one day salary, totalling Rs 8 crore, to MJSA. Then through the combined efforts and resources of the government and the people, we are determined to make a success of this state-wide drive,” Raje said addressing the launch event at Gardankheri village in her home constituency Jhalawar.

The much publicised event was attended by Raje’s son Dushyant Singh, who represents the region in Parliament. PWD Minister Yunus Khan and Sriram Vedire, chairman, Rajasthan River Basin & Water Resources Planning Authority and Advisor to the Union Ministry for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation were also in attendance.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan has become the third state after Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to formally join Centre’s UDAY scheme meant for revival of discoms and it will help the state “save Rs 21,000 crore in the next 3 years”. “UDAY (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) will help Rajasthan save Rs 21,000 crore over the next three years. The savings well ultimately help power consumers through lower tariffs,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal said Wednesday after Rajasthan and its discoms inked MoU with central government to join the scheme.

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