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Villagers demand new lease of life for Ramgarh dam

A completely dried Ramgarh dam near Jaipur, once considered the lifeline of the city.  

An agitation for protection of catchment area of the historic Ramgarh dam near here, once considered the lifeline of Jaipur, has revived with the villagers and farmers of the region staging a sit-in near the dam demanding immediate removal of encroachments.

The dam, which earlier supplied drinking water to the city, has dried completely in the last decade.

Local villagers, who participated in the agitation on Monday, said that the Ramgarh lake had hosted rowing events during the 1982 Asian Games. Numerous encroachments which came up in the catchment area have halted free flow of water to the dam. Its construction was completed in 1904 during the reign of erstwhile Jaipur ruler Sawai Madho Singh II.

The sit-in was led by Rajya Sabha MP Kirorilal Meena, who called upon the Congress government to take urgent steps to remove encroachments in compliance with the repeated directions of the Rajasthan High Court. In an order passed in 2012, the High Court had defined catchment area as the land of pond and tributaries from where water flowed.

While directing the State government to remove encroachments, Justice M.N. Bhandari at the High Court’s Jaipur Bench had observed that construction at agricultural land in the catchment area could be allowed within the permissible limits, but care should be taken that it did not obstruct flow of water to the dam.

Jaipur MP Ramcharan Bohra, Chomu MLA Ramlal Sharma and former chairperson of State Women’s Commission Suman Sharma also took part in the sit-in.

Mr. Meena said he had sent a memorandum to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot with a suggestion that the Chambal river water be supplied to the dam through the proposed Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project. “The Jamwa Ramgarh Tehsildar’s report that there are no encroachments and no obstructions in the flow of water is misleading,” he said. The memorandum also carried a list of 109 “influential persons” who had constructed buildings in the dam’s catchment area. It said a large number of poor villagers had been ousted from the area.


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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 6:40:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/villagers-demand-new-lease-of-life-for-ramgarh-dam/article29772295.ece

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