JAIPUR: After mining denuding the topography ruthlessly, there is hope for the Aravalis and Vindhya ranges in the state as Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) undertakes restoration of ecological status through reforestation. The project would also increase green cover, improve water table and augment the economy of the villagers besides reducing dependence on the forests.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on Wednesday sanctioned Rs 284.33 crore for the first phase of the greening project. The total outlay is more than Rs 900 crore which will be distributed in three phases to the forest department.

JAIPUR: Climate change, the greatest global challenge, is already a reality for the farmers of Rajasthan. It is increasing the pressure on already scarce resources and if proper measures are not taken, migration towards the cities will soon reach new heights.

According to the Rajasthan State Action Plan on Climate Change (RAPCC) report by the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board prepared with the help of a multi-disciplinary team of experts from TERI with support from GIZ says, 'enough is already known to start action'. And more than the factual situation the action plan that the report suggests is a writing on the wall for farmers.

Jaipur: The draft report of Rajasthan State Action Plan on Climate Change has brought out some alarming facts about the water situation in the state. According to the report, the state has the highest probability of drought occurrence in the country. It also falls within areas having greatest climate sensitivity, maximum vulnerability and lowest adaptive capacity.

According to the report, “high dependency on groundwater has resulted in its overexploitation, with nearly 80% of groundwater witnessing depletion. The quality of groundwater has also progressively deteriorated. The stage of groundwater exploitation which was 35% in 1984 has reached a level of 138% in 2008

Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group company, has joined hands with Rajasthan Government to build a sewage treatment plant (STP) in Udaipur with an investment of Rs 170 crore.

Rajasthan is the largest state of India experiencing recurrent forest fires. The present study determines forest burnt areas through remote sensing-based time series analysis. IRS P6 AWiFS satellite data covering March, April and May of six years (2005–2010) were used to cover all forest-fire events. The total forest burnt area was assessed as 53,023.5 ha in 2005; 44,681.5 ha in 2006; 57,689 ha in 2007; 89,655.2 ha in 2008; 199,837 ha in 2009 and 144,816 ha in 2010. Forest fires were observed only in the southern Aravallis.

Jaipur: It’s time Rajasthan moves out of dependence on rain to solve the perennial water crisis. If the government honestly takes up water-harvesting and conservation, backed by technology innovations, people may not face the crisis every summer.

Recently, two teams from the state have made it to the finals of annual Microsoft Imagine Cup competition, a premier international student technology competition. The India finals for the same would be held at

JAIPUR: Preliminary study by civil organisations has shown that the state's special project of free distribution of hybrid maize seeds to farmers in the hopes of a rich harvest might have gone awry. The seeds have provided less than promised yields and, in many cases, they have not germinated.

The state government through funds from the National Agriculture Development Programme and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) has been promoting hybrid maize seeds to the tribal farmers on a large scale since 2009.

The Government has approved three highway projects in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Orissa that entail an investment of Rs 3,412 crore, under the National Highways Development Project.

JAIPUR: Rajasthan bagged the second prize in the Comprehensive Development of Tourism category during the National Tourism Awards ceremony on Wednesday. The award was given by President Pratibha Patil at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi to Seema Bahugana, principal resident commissioner in Delhi. In the same category, Madhya Pradesh was adjudged the best state.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday said the Dewas drinking water project in Udaipur district is on the “highest priority” for the State Government and would get additional budget for construction of the State's longest water transport tunnel for the benefit of the residents of the City of Lakes.

Intervening in reply to a question in the State Assembly, Mr. Gehlot said he had visited the project site recently and was monitoring the progress of work for supply of drinking water from Mansi Wakal, Akodra and Madri dams to Udaipur. Budget for the ambitious project had already been enhanced, he added.