The Maharashtra government Wednesday mooted a Rs 4,000 crore proposal to the World Bank (WB) for drought mitigation. The proposal comprises projects related to advanced technology sharing and agriculture practices along with challenges of climate change.
WB country head Onnu Ruhi was present at the Maharashtra Disaster Management Authority (MDMA) meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai. The multiple projects for better agriculture and irrigation practices, using advanced technology and knowledge sharing, would stretch from 2016 to 2022.
It will be executed across 3,000 villages of the worst drought hit regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha. The state government also approved the State Disaster Management Plan and Policy with an objective to strengthen the programme and take it forward. Guidelines for providing better relief to the affected persons was also stressed.
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Emphasis was on “Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan” at the meeting. While seeking aid for ongoing programmes, he said, “This is one project which would bring great results post monsoon. Apart from creating water storage and increasing irrigation potential, it would lead to higher production of crops.”
The chief minister acknowledged, “We need to increase use of technology to herald greater change with larger impact and we are working hard on that. We have approved SDMP plan and policy and decided to strengthen the system and take forward this programme.”
He said, “I am thankful to WB for extending cooperation in tough times of drought and confident that it will consider this proposal positively and our roadmap for drought mitigation will set an example for the nation.” At the meeting, it was unanimously accepted that drought is not confined to a few states or India.
It was seen across the world including developed nations, which were also facing problems. Whether it is the United States or Australia, climate change and its impact on agriculture is being debated. Fadnavis said, “This is the most appropriate time for change and contributions of experts are commendable.”