CM Meets PM, Union Ministers
Jaipur-Jodhpur-Bikaner-Pali-Mount Abu-Sambhar Mega Tourist Circuit
Jaipur, The Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje called on the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the Union Ministers of Home, Finance, Water Resources, Tourism in New Delhi on Wednesday. During these meetings, she held discussions on various matters related to development of Rajasthan, challenges before the state and sought special assistance from the central government for early resolution of issues.
This was Smt. Raje first formal meeting with the PM Shri Modi since he assumed office on May 26. During the meeting, which lasted for about 45 minutes, the CM apprised the Prime Minister about various issues of the Rajasthan's interest in detail. She said that the state needed additional aid from the union government in view of its peculiar geographical conditions, frequent droughts due to insufficient rains and scarcity of surface and underground water.
The Chief Minister told Shri Modi that geographically Rajasthan was the biggest state of the country and it faced several challenges including the security of the longest international border. The cost of development was more in comparison to other states in the deserts, hilly terrains and tribal regions. In such circumstances, several criterions for the central assistance were not applicable for Rajasthan, she added.
Smt. Raje further stated that access to electricity, water, road, medical facilities and other basic infrastructural services at the remotely-situated villages and small hamlets was a very big challenge. In view of such conditions, a special central assistance for Rajasthan would be appropriate, she demanded.
Smt. Raje also informed about different measures being undertaken by the state government for empowerment of women and particularly the Bhamashah Scheme. She apprised the PM about several issues of Rajasthan being pending before the centre for decisions and demanded for early disposal of the same in the interest of the state and its people. The centre should give top priority and full co-operation to Rajasthan for its overall development, she added.
Meeting With Home Minister
During her meeting with the Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, the Chief Minister demanded for additional central government assistance for modernization and rejuvenation of the Rajasthan Police. She further suggested for security arrangements at the national heritage sites and renowned religious locations like Dargah Ajmer Sharif, Pushkar and Shrinathji Temple in Nathdwara, by the agencies such as the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
The Chief Minister said to Shri Singh about being extra-alert towards the border areas of the state and particularly Munabao. She attracted theHome Minister's attention towards the fact that Rajasthan had the longest international border and to deal with the security-related challenges associated with this fact, modernization of the state police force urgently needed additional central assistance.
Smt. Raje also said that Rajasthan was destined to face frequent droughts and famines. Every year some of the districts or the entire state suffered due to insufficient rains. Therefore, the central government's assistance under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) for drought-relief works for 90 days was not enough, she argued.
The Chief Minister suggested for making the criteria of the central Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) to be more practical and demanded that famine or drought-affected regions should be provided with the central assistance for relief works throughout the year. Such relief works should be allowed to be operational under the supervision of a state-level committee, she added.
CM Meets Finance Minister
The Chief Minister requested the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley for additional financial assistance for Rajasthan from the centre in view of the peculiar geographical conditions of the biggest state of the countryin terms of area. She informed Shri Jaitley about the poor fiscal health of Rajasthan due to financial mismanagement by the previous government during past five years. She asked for the centre's support to improve upon this situation.
The Chief Minister also suggested the Finance Minister to protect interests of the states while imposing the Goods and Services Tax (GST). She further assured the centre to extend full support from the state government in implementing the GST regime.
Meeting With Water Resources Minister
The Chief Minister sought the union government's help in resolving the inter-state water issues at the earliest, while meeting the Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ms. Uma Bharti. This would ensure Rajasthan getting its due share of water for drinking and irrigation purposes, she said.
The CM demanded a special package under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) of the central government for the desert state. The Chief Minister also told Ms. Bharati that the problem of water pollution in Sutlej river in Punjab region was very acute and stated that severe contamination was causing destruction of crops in Rajasthan. Human population of the region was also getting inflicted with serious health problems like skin diseases and cancer etc, she said.
Smt. Raje asked the centre to take serious measures in direction of having some control on the serious situation of water pollution and issue appropriate directions to the Government of Punjab on this. After meeting, the Union Minister Ms. Bharati acknowledged that Rajasthan was water deficient state. The centre would extend all possible support to Rajasthan in fighting the problem of scarcity of water, she said.
Meeting With Minister of State For Tourism
In yet another meeting with the Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (Independent Charge) Shri Sripaad Yasso Naik, the Chief Minister demanded for a special package for Tal Chhapar wildlife sanctuary in Churu district from the central government along with additional funds for several other tourism projects in Rajasthan.
Smt. Raje told Shri Naik that the invaluable treasures of heritage at Kalibanga and Bhatner (Hanumangarh) in Rajasthan were in dilapidated condition. The Archeological Survey of India was urgently needed to be issued directions to start renovation works at these sites immediately. Experts' help should be taken for conservation of these places of heritage to attract more tourists and researchers, she added.
She asked for a special central assistance for the newly proposed Jaipur-Jodhpur-Bikaner-Pali-Mount Abu-Sambhar Mega Tourist Circuit. She also demanded for financial support for developing a convention centre in Rajasthan and the Great Indian Travel Bazaar being organised in the state.
The Chief Minister said that her state had a special identity on the global tourism map. She observed that every tourist of the world attempted to visit Rajasthan to have a look at the beauty of art, culture and history of the state.
The Chief Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Shri Sunil Arora, the Director General of Police Shri Omendra Bhardwaj, Principal Secretary Finance Shri Subhash Chandra Garg and Principal Secretary Relief and Disaster Management Shri Kunji Lal Meena, Principal Secretary Tourism Shri Shailendra Agarwal and Director Tourism Shri Vikram Singh also accompanied the CM during these meetings.