Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has called for a halt to the mindless “mining” of water in Maharashtra and indicated that the government would evolve a comprehensive plan for water recharge projects, region-wise.
He also indicated linking the dam water audit project with mapping of agricultural land to ensure effective region-wise water allocation and distribution.
At its internal meet this week, the CM expressed worries at the mismatch between drawing of water and recharging of sources. He said, “Today, two aspects are causing major concern. One relates to mindless ‘mining’ of water resulting in our tapping of acquifiers which take almost 1000 years to recharge.”
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It was pointed out that in the past 15 years, the government had sanctioned mega irrigation projects constituency wise, but not a single mega project on water recharge was planned. The CM said the water recharge project would have to be taken up on war footing.
Indicating that the government will have to evolve measures towards sustainable agriculture practices which are not entirely rain dependent, the state government said 40,000 villages will have to become water sufficient in the next three years and they include 25,000 villages reeling under drought.
The state has urged the centre to provide a Rs 6,000 crore package for the Tapi Irrigation Recharge Project, touted to be the biggest water recharge project in Asia.