State will discuss water grid project with Israel, says CM Devendra Fadnavis

The state govt is seeking a partnership with Israel for better water management and irrigation to help farmers

Mumbai | Published: January 14, 2018 3:52 am
Marathwada Water Grid Project, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu India visit, Maharashtra CM, Devendra Fadnavis. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran/Files)

The Maharashtra government will seek the partnership of Israel in designing and developing its ambitious water grid project to tackle drought in Marathwada region. Revealing this plan, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that he had already discussed the project with the Centre.

Marathwada Water Grid Project will be high on the agenda during the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from January 14 to 19, said Fadnavis. Netanyahu will be visiting Mumbai, apart from Delhi and Gujarat.

The chief minister said, “During the Israeli PM’s visit to Mumbai, we will discuss the Water Grid Project. We are looking forward to a partnership with Israel to seek their technological support in designing the project.”

Policy reforms and special projects of the state government to mitigate drought and push sustainable agriculture practices will make use of advanced technology and innovations successfully adopted in Israel, the chief minister added.

The state has already conducted a feasibility test to work out financial and geographical aspects related to the project, which essentially would require interlinking of all major water reservoirs in the eight districts of Marathwada.

Although the model has been adopted in Gujarat and Telangana, Maharashtra is exploring more advanced methods to not only interlink its water reservoirs but also minimise loss of water through evaporation and infrastructure shortcomings.

The project will provide a lasting solution to tackle the drinking water problem in drought prone districts and pave the way for better agriculture practices to help farmers attain the target of doubling produce and earning a higher income.

Fadnavis, during his 2015 visit to Israel, had initiated talks with the Israeli government on water management and agriculture.

Maharashtra has been working on adopting irrigation technology that has been successfully implemented in Israel. The chief minister said, “The state is open to adopt all projects and technology that could help in bringing down investment by farmers. Along with water management, the state is working on better crop management to increase farm produce.” He said his focus is on drip irrigation methods that have met with success in Israel. The state is also keen on using technology for sowing crops and adopting post-harvest methods used in Israel.

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