The Rajasthan Government on Thursday requested the European Union to extend its ongoing participatory programme for water management in the State till December 2015 and release the pending grants to help speed up work under the ambitious project. The extension is likely to improve the availability of water in 1,187 village panchayats where integrated plans have been formulated.

State Chief Secretary C. K. Mathew said at a meeting of the project steering committee here that the programme’s extension by two years would facilitate achievement of all milestones and ensure long-term benefits of the partnership between the EU and the desert State. The project’s conclusion is scheduled for December 2013.

The meeting, attended among others by the EU team leader, was informed that the Water Resources Department’s study reports on benchmarking, water auditing and water resources information system would be uploaded on the State Data Centre for their utilisation in policy formulation.