Chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday made specific demands from the Centre, including special status for the state, at the National Development Council (NDC) meeting held in New Delhi. Apart from reiterating the demand for special status to Rajasthan, Gehlot also sought an oil refinery at Barmer, Rs 51,000 crore package for drinking water projects, Rs 1806 crore assistance for the Jaipur Metro project and greater assistances like allocation of coal and gas on priority for the state's power sector.
Gehlot said that Rajasthan is the largest state of India in area and shares 1040 Km. long border with Pakistan which is very critical in terms of its strategic importance. The state has faced drought and famines for 56 years out of the past 62 years and 12 percent population of the state is tribal which is largely scattered in hilly area that is difficult to approach. More than 60 percent of the state's area falls under great Indian Desert the Thar and it has 12 districts, wherein more than 40 percent of the state's population resides. He also said that the state's population density is 201 persons per square kilometers, according to the Census, 2011, which is much lower than the National average of 382. In Jaisalmer, the population density is mere 17 persons per square kilometers. Gehlot further said that the per capita cost of providing infrastructure and basic social services is quite high due to all these reasons, compared to the normal areas,Rajasthan, on various platforms has been consistently raising the demand of declaring the state as a special category state and include it the list of Special category states.