THE STATE government has set a target to complete one lakh works under the Jalyukt Shivar project in 8,418 villages by June 2019. The total expenditure required for completing these projects is Rs 1,500 crore.
The works will include construction of earthen and concrete stop dams, farm ponds, deepening and widening of streams and desilting of rivers, irrigated wells, check dams and canals.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has emphasised on the need to take up the drought as a challenge. “ We have taken the decision to complete one lakh Jalyukt Shivar works in 8,418 villages by June 2019,” said sources in the water conservation department. The process will ensure greater village participation along with the state administration which will guide and provide financial assistance for the projects. The government is also seeking help from various NGOs.
“The rainfall pattern studied for last seven to ten years showed that there are 25,000 villages which face drought once in three years. Therefore, we have focussed Jalyukt Shivar projects in these villages on priority,” said secretary for water conservation. The CM launched Jalyukt Shivar in 2015. It was to be completed in phases over a five-year period.
“ So far we have completed Jalyukt Shivar projects in 16,522 villages. The total expenditure incurred on the project was Rs 7,692 crore. The projects helped to create water storage capacity of 24 TMC and brought 34 lakh hectare under irrigation. As per estimates the projects helped to increase the crop production by 45 per cent in the villages where they were completed,” said an official.
The department has set up a team to monitor the processes and progress of works. The emphasis is to maximise the Jalyukt Shivar works during the dry spell. In the wake of drought in 151 talukas, it will be easier to elicit public participation. The state government has included Jalyukt Shivar work under MNREGA to help drought hit villagers to earn daily wages by working on the project.