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Pilot project to reclaim Chambal ravines

Written by: Staff
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Bhopal, Mar 22 (UNI) The Madhya Pradesh government today said a Rs 400 crore project to reclaim two lakh hectare ravine area in the Chambal region of the state was awaiting the union government's clearance.

State Agriculture Minister Choudhary Chandrabhan singh, while replying to a call attention notice, said another pilot project for reclaiming 25,000 hectare area in Morena district had also been sent to the Centre, while another Rs 20 crore project for tree plantation in the ravines of Bhind district would be sent to the Centre.

Mr Chandrabhan denied that the ravine area was expanding due to soil erosion and said the area under cultivation had increased in Morena, Bhind and Sheopur districts. He said a team of officers would visit the villages to take stock of the situation.

Mr Gajraj Singh Sikarwar, Mr Brijendra Tiwari and Mr Lal Singh Arya (all BJP), who moved the notice, contested the minister's claim and said soil erosion threatening the existence of several villages was going on.

Mr Tiwari urged that the government should take a serious note of the soil erosion, while Mr Arya suggested that tree plantation on a large scale should be undertaken in villages on the bank of the Chambal river.

The State Agriculture Minister contested Mr Sikarwar's contention based on an expert's report that Morena, Bhind and Sheopur district would be erased out of the map by 2141 if the soil erosion at present rate continued and said the report was based on very old data. The situation has changed a lot with the passage of time, he added.

Mr Sikarwar said of the total 16 lakh hectare area in Chambal division, 4.12 lakh hectare area had been turned into ravines in the last 100 years. The situation was becoming grave in the absence of effective steps, he added.

UNI SP SI BST1654

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