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Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP)

Topics Covered: Different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage.

Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP):


Context:

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has been strongly demanding national project status for the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP).

What is the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP)?

The Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project aims to harvest surplus water available during the rainy season in rivers in southern Rajasthan such as Chambal and its tributaries including Kunnu, Parvati, Kalisindh.

  • Besides supplying drinking water in 13 districts, the mega project will also provide irrigation water to an additional 2 lakh hectares of land.
  • It will also supply water to the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and take care of the flood and drought situation in the area.

Need for:

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

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

  • Therefore, the ERCP aims to create a network of water channels which will cover 23.67 per cent area of Rajasthan along with 41.13 per cent population of the state.

Why is the demand of declaring the ERCP as a national project?

The reason cited by the Chief Minister for wanting the ERCP to be a national project is that its estimated cost is around Rs 40,000 crore, which is not possible to be borne by the state government.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About ERCP.
  2. Areas covered.
  3. Rivers in Rajasthan and key tributaries.
  4. National Project status- benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of ERCP project.

Sources: Indian Express.