Jalyukta Shivar has helped check depletion of underground water tables apart from enhancing crop production and making 11,494 villages drought-free by April 2017, a report compiled by the ministry of water conservation to assess the impact of the project has claimed.
The number of villages where underground water depletion was more than 1 m has come down to 5,156 in May 2017. In May 2016, the number stood at 18,502 villages. The report said: “Two critical areas where the Jalyukta Shivar has made huge impact is in helping to increase the underground water table. Secondly, it has led to creation of additional water sources leading to enhanced production of crop.”
The total Jalyukta Shivar works completed are 3,35,725 and of the 25,000 drought-hit villages, 11,494 have become drought-free. The state has a total of 40,913 villages. The report said: “The water structures will help farmers to avail two protective crops (kharif and rabi), along with bringing additional land of 6,28,512 hectares under irrigation.”
CM Devendra Fadnavis, who has given the project top priority since its launch in January 26, 2015, has now decided to upgrade it for doubling farm production across the drought-hit districts. The state government has decided to double farm production by 2021, a year ahead of the Centre’s target.
The report said the production of cereal went up to 128.45 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 from 92.67 lakh tonnes in 2014-15. Production of pulses was 44.71 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 compared to 16.80 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 and oilseeds production was high at 50.42 lakh tonnes this time compared to 22.78 lakh tonnes in 2014-15. The report added that the productivity of cereal per hectare has increased to 1713.44 kg in 2016-17 compared to 1149.92 kg in 2014-15.