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Thursday, March 04, 2021

Maharashtra: Cabinet approves new programme to conserve water

Officials said that a large number of water sources have been created in the last four decades. But, these water sources are not being used to their full potential due to the lack of regular maintenance and repair.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 5, 2021 1:09:18 am
uddhav thackeray, Jalyukt Shivar scheme, maharashtra water conservation programme, Mumbai news, indian express newsAround 7,900 water sources need repairing to restore water storage and irrigation capacity, an official said. (Representational)

A year after discontinuing the Jalyukt Shivar scheme, the state cabinet Thursday approved the Chief Minister’s water conservation programme on the lines of previous BJP government’s flagship scheme. The new water conservation scheme, which aims at restoring the irrigation capacity by repairing the water sources, will be implemented from April 2020 to March 2023.

Officials said that a large number of water sources have been created in the last four decades. But, these water sources are not being used to their full potential due to the lack of regular maintenance and repair. Around 7,900 water sources need repairing to restore water storage and irrigation capacity, an official said, adding that the programme will require a fund of Rs 1,340.75 crore.

The official said that under the scheme, works such as village ponds, storage tanks, irrigation ponds, small irrigation structures, cement nullah bunds with others within the irrigation capacity up to 600 hectares will be taken up for special repairs. “The programme will be undertaken by the soil and water conservation department to restore irrigation capacity of the water sources. The canal repair works will also be taken up to stop the wastage of water,” the official said.

The soil and conservation department’s Vigilance and Quality Control Team will inspect the progress of work from time to time. The programme will be monitored by setting up a project implementation cell at the state level.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government had discontinued the Jalayukt Shivar scheme, a pet project of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government to make Maharashtra drought-free, in December 2019. The state government had constituted a four-member committee to investigate alleged irregularities in the Jalyukt Shivar scheme. The inquiry was ordered following a CAG report, which pointed to irregularities and lack of transparency in the project works carried out between 2014 and 2019.

Meanwhile, in another decision, the state cabinet has reversed the previous BJP government’s decision of repealing the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT). “The decisions of repealing the NIT were taken in 2016 and 2019 by the then state cabinet. Now, there is no need to implement these decisions, which have been withdrawn now,” said an official.

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