Decks have been cleared for establishment of a full-fledged world class hydrology and water management institute in Bikaner, with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot clearing a proposal for opening a regional centre of the Kota-based Irrigation Management and Training Institute in the town, which will involve 15 stakeholder departments in its activities.

Mr. Gehlot had made the announcement in his 2011-12 Budget speech taking into account the significance of water in the context of the State’s difficult geography and erratic rains. Its detailed project report was likely to be prepared in three to four years, while its active functioning would take another two years.

Looking to the time and money involved in the project, estimated to cost Rs.133 crore, Mr. Gehlot on Wednesday approved the establishment of the Irrigation Management and Training Institute’s regional centre in Bikaner at a cost of Rs.24 crore. The State Government’s departments dealing with the agricultural activities and water management would be involved in its operations.

State Planning Board Deputy Chairman V. S. Vyas has also supported the move for opening the regional centre in Bikaner. According to the official sources here, land for the regional centre has been allotted in the office compound of the Chief Engineer, Indira Gandhi Canal Project.