Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP)

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    • The Union government has proposed a mega project to merge two projects – Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) and the Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal River Link.

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    • It is a project aimed at harvesting surplus water available during the rainy season in southern Rajasthan and using it in the water-scarce south-eastern districts of the state.
    • Districts covered: Jhalawar, Baran, Kota, Bundi, Sawai Madhopur, Ajmer, Tonk, Jaipur, Karauli, Alwar, Bharatpur, Dausa, and Dholpur.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The project will have components including diversion structures, intra-basin water transfers, linking channels, and building pumping main feeder channels to create a network of water channels.
    • It is expected to cover 23.67 per cent of the area and 41.13 per cent of the population of Rajasthan.
    • The Rajasthan government has previously proposed an allocation of Rs 13,000 crore for the ERCP in its state budget, however, the state wants the Centre to share the cost of the project and declare it a national project, with a cost-sharing ratio of 90:10.
    • Although the project was approved by the Central Water Commission in 2017 it had been put in limbo by the Jal Shakti Ministry of the central government till the “inter-state issues” are resolved between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

    Source: IE