The state government has decided to conduct third party independent audits of all water conservation projects to ensure quality and check corruption.
There are currently one lakh water conservation projects across 6,002 villages across the state to tackle the severe drought conditions plaguing the state.
Till date, almost 70,000 works have been completed, which includes river channel widening, construction of cement and nullah bunds and the revival of ponds and wells.
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In addition to the audit on the ground, the government has a mechanism where pictures of every project is taken and the status monitored online.
The water conservation is the flagship scheme of the Devendra Fadnavis government called the Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan. “The water conservation work is heading in the right direction. There will be zero tolerance for corruption,” Fadnavis said. “The overwhelming response from the people in rural Maharashtra has culminated into a water movement. Thus, government responsibility to ensure its effective execution has increased many fold.”
According to Osmanabad district collector Prashant Narnaware, “The involvement of village panchayats and gram sabha have ensure their full time participation both in raising funds and physical work.”
The Congress and NCP leaders have raised some doubts about the work progress in some districts. There are complains from elected MLAs across party lines on the implementation of the project. According to senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, “I am making no judgement about the work. I also appreciative the water conservation project which has elicited public support. But what I want to inform the government is there should be strict monitoring committee for standard work. Otherwise, the entire effort would be a waste.”