At a time when the state is reeling under acute water crisis, the Ajmer administration wasted more than seven lakh litres of water to construct a temporary helipad for the chief minister’s convenience.
The administration went ahead with the construction despite a permanent helipad located barely two-and-half kilometre from the site.
Like the rest of India, Rajasthan is facing water crisis this summer. As many as 19 of the total 33 districts are drought affected. Ajmer, Banswara, Baran, Barmer, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Churu, Dungarpur, Hanumangarh, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jalore, Jhunjhunu, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Pali, Rajsamand, Udaipur and Pratapgarh are reeling under drought.
“The chief minister’s visit was for a very short period… Keeping in mind her convenience, we ordered the construction of a new helipad,” Ajmer sub-divisional magistrate HL Meena said.
The temporary helipad was less than one kilometre from the site where Raje inaugurated the first rope-way system of Rajasthan.
“I was ordered by the officials to water the helipad area to ‘settle’ the sand at the site,” said Shaitan Singh, water tanker owner. “I have been watering the site for past three days. 40 tankers of 6,000 litre capacity each have been pouring water at the site.”
The main opposition Congress took no time to latch on to the episode to target chief minister Vasundhara Raje. “It shows the insensitive attitude of the BJP leadership towards the plight of people who are facing acute water shortage in the state. At one side, the people are struggling to meet their daily water requirements, while the BJP workers are wasting lakhs of litres of water for their comforts,” alleged Congress state chief Sachin Pilot.