• Power shortage mounts in Rajasthan

    The power shortage in Rajasthan touched the level of 1.25 crore units a day following the closure of fifth unit of the Kota thermal power plant due to a technical snag. The unit is not likely to restart before the next three days. The State is already facing a severe power crisis due to non-availability of electricity from six Central power projects and a leakage in the re-heater tube of Giral lignite thermal power plant in Barmer district.

  • Relief package for farmers too little

    The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has termed the Rajasthan Government's relief package for farmers affected by frost and extreme weather conditions as "grossly inadequate'. Even while asking the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre to include crop-based catastrophes eligible for compensation under the Calamity Relief Fund, the party has decided to start district-wise protests against the inadequate relief.

  • Congress to lead farmers' team for meeting with Sonia

    Even as the Congress is battling the BJP Government within the State Assembly and outside over the "inadequate' relief package for farmers affected by the frost and extreme cold conditions in Rajasthan, the party is leading a large group of the victims this Thursday to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi. The party's strategy seemingly is to extract some concrete announcements from the Centre in favour of the farmers in general and the frost-hit in particular.

  • Farmer delegations meet Sonia Gandhi

    Seeking relief: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi listens to the grievances of farmers from Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra at her residence in New Delhi on Thursday. Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday assured delegations of farmers from Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra that she would convey their budgetary demands to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. The delegations sought waiver of farmers' debts, reduction in interest rates on loans, remunerative prices for farm produce, health insurance for farm families and crop insurance. They highlighted the high costs of inputs, crop losses on account of calamities (Rajasthan delegation spoke about the heavy damage to mustard crop from frost), lack of adequate power and poor quality of seeds. Among those who formed part of the delegations were S.S. Surjewala, Ashok Gehlot and Mukul Wasnik. On Friday, farmers' representatives have convened an emergency meeting of the National Council of the organisation of farmers and farm labour to discuss the financial and social problems of farmers. They will finalise a charter of demands to be sent to the Prime Minister.

  • Gehlot challenges Vasundhara's allegation

    Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot has challenged Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's allegation of the Centre discriminating against the State. The Central allocation to Rajasthan during the past four years had been more than at any time in the past, he said. "The State never had it so good,' Mr. Gehlot said reacting to reports that the Centre had rejected Ms. Raje's appeal to include frost and other cold weather conditions for compensation under the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF). "In fact, her approaching Home Minister Shivraj Patil with the demand was meaningless as the Finance Commission sets the norms for CRF,' he added. Local newspapers here had reported the Centre rejecting a demand from Ms. Raje for changes in the CRF norms with a suggestion that the State could place the matter before the 13th Finance Commission. The Chief Minister had made the demand in a letter written to Mr. Patil saying that farmers in 22 districts of the State had suffered a total loss of Rs.1,000 crore due to frost and extreme weather conditions. The treasury benches had also passed a resolution in the Assembly on the issue. "It is not due to dearth of money that relief is not reaching the affected farmers. The available funds are not utilised properly,' Mr. Gehlot said. Comparing the funds made available by the National Democratic Alliance government to the previous government headed by him , Mr. Gehlot said against a Central allocation of Rs.3,000 crore under rural development during the first four years, this government got Rs.9,000 crores under the same head so far. As for the CRF norms, Mr. Gehlot said there were clear-cut guidelines regarding the use of CRF and NCCF and there was no scope for any confusion.

  • Raje Govt. to expand food for poor scheme

    The Rajasthan Government is planning to expand its ambitious "Akshay Kaleva' scheme for providing cooked food to the poor at subsidised prices at public places in Jaipur by seeking charitable contributions from private donors on their personal and family occasions. State Local Self Government Secretary Manjeet Singh said at a review meeting of the department here that prominent people and interest families in the city could arrange for food under the scheme on festive occasions such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries and get-together. The Akshay Kaleva scheme is run by the Jaipur Municipal Corporation in association with a non-government organisation, Akshay Patra, to serve cooked food at a subsides rate of Rs.5. The scheme is being introduced in other districts as well. Mr. Singh said urban development would be strengthened through e-governance and evolving alternative sources of income for the local bodies. Progress of schemes The progress of schemes such as Nirmal Ghat, Pannadhay Jeevan Amrit and urban landscape improvement was also reviewed at the review meeting. Jaipur Mayor Ashok Parnami said dwelling units for the urban poor would be constructed shortly on 28 bighas of land earmarked in Shastri Nagar, while the cremation and burial grounds would be developed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

  • Guj-Rajasthan differences crop up ahead of Narmada water supply

    Sharp interstate differences are starting to crop up between Gujarat and Rajasthan, one day ahead of the state government planned grand function in the border taluka of Tharad to supply Narmada canal

  • Solar lighting - No time to wait for grid or government

    Less than a kilometer from Asia's largest Solar Termal plant, west of Bikaner, Rajasthan, lives the farmer Sabhu Khan. His hamlet is still unreached by the grid. Instead of the grid connection, he decided

  • Lanco's allies

    Jonas Hamberg stumbles on fictitious companies dealing in public funds. It was all there on the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation (RREC) website—names of companies, addresses and phone numbers. But

  • Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board

    The Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board is a body corporate constituted under section 4 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. It was first constituted on 7th February 1975,

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