NEW DELHI

Japanese financial assistance for Rajasthan canal project soon

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will shortly provide financial assistance worth Rs.1,774 crore for the second phase of a lift canal project in Nagaur district of Rajasthan to provide drinking water to 978 villages and seven towns. The water will be brought from the Indira Gandhi Canal Project.

A six-member fact-finding team of JICA met Nagaur Collector S. S. Bissa on Wednesday to discuss the modalities of the project. Mr. Bissa told the Japanese delegation that land for the project would be allotted without delay and the procedure would be simplified to facilitate early initiation of work.

He said the paucity of drinking water in the desert district could be resolved only through the Indira Gandhi Canal Project. “The ground water [in Nagaur] has high fluoride contents causing fluorosis and other diseases of bones and teeth. The availability of fresh drinking water is going to provide much-needed succour to the people here,” he told the JICA team.

The JICA team, which studied environmental and geographical conditions at the grassroots, found that Nagaur district has a rich mineral wealth that has not been exploited because of paucity of water. Besides, the district has superior breeds of the livestock, but animal husbandry remains a neglected area for want of water.

Second phase

According to an official release here, the Japanese group was told that it was mostly government land which was available for the project's second phase. The members of the team included Koichi Kitamura, Toyoda Mariko, Mino Sato and Itaya.

The seven towns in Nagaur district which would get drinking water from the project are Kuchaman, Nawa, Makrana, Parbatsar, Deedwana, Ladnu and Degana. The project's Superintending Engineer, G. S. Bhati, and Superintending Engineer (Water Resources) G. R. Bhakar were also present during the JICA team's interaction with Mr. Bissa.

The JICA, established in 1974, is the primary Japanese Government agency implementing the country's programme for assisting Asian countries in their socio-economic development. Japan's official development assistance commitment has increased annually and expanded to more countries with Japan remaining the world's top donor since 1991.