Congress president Sonia Gandhi, launches Drinking Water Project in Barmer district of Western Rajasthan by linking it with the Indira Gandhi main canal to provide water facilities in Barmer area including The Air Force Station at Uttarlai and Defense Lab in Jaisalmer, including 38 villages of Barmer tehsil, 27 of Shiv and nine villages of Ramsar tehsil will also get water under this project. Barmer and surrounding areas. Speaking on the occasion, Gandhi said the project would help solve "the biggest problem of this area". "I know scarcity of water troubles everyone and the maximum burden is lifted by my sisters, the women. They have to walk miles to get water for their families. I am very happy that my sisters will not have to face this problem anymore," she said. Gandhi said the Congress government in the state had in 2002 started working in the direction of a drinking water project in the area but alleged the subsequent BJP government did not pay much attention to it.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the water of Indira Gandhi main canal has reached the city of Barmer and adjoining areas. He said Sonia Gandhi had come as Bhagirathi- mythical name for Ganges- to the Barmer area. Gehlot also raised the demand for setting up of an oil refinery in the area. As per Rajasthan government officials, under the first phase of Barmer Lift Drinking Water Project, clean drinking water will be provided to more than six lakh people of Barmer and Jaisalmer districts. "Over 196km main pipeline has been laid from Mohangarh village to Barmer city from Indira Gandhi Main Canal. The cost of the project is Rs 688.65 crores, which has already been spent on the project for its completion," Rajasthan government said in a statement. While Barmer MP Harish Choudhary spoke during the function, Congress state president Chandrabhan, seated besides Sonia, was not given the opportunity to address the gathering. Jat Congressmen began whispering about this the moment the function was over. Union ministers Mukul Wasnik, CP Joshi and Sachin Pilot and PHED minister Jitendra Singh were also present.