The state government has decided to shift from the conventional flood irrigation method to scientific micro-irrigation encompassing 40,913 villages across Maharashtra in three phases. The target is to create additional water storage of 4000 mm3. Additional dry land to be covered by agriculture is pegged at 7.5 lakh hectares.
The state vision document-2030 unveils the long-term plans of the state government to adopt micro-irrigation for effective water management and higher farm production across villages to make agriculture sustainable in the long run with higher income for farmers.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, at internal departmental meetings where the documents were discussed, said, “Maharashtra should emerge as the leading state in taking forward micro irrigation.”
A senior secretary in the ministry of water resources department revealed, “In the absence of infrastructure and rain dependence we are adopting flood irrigation methods for agriculture. In the next 15 to 17 years, we have set the target to replace every village or field with micro irrigation method. It would mean switching to scientific method of low and controlled water release through drip irrigation at the roots of the plant. This would help in better quality and quantity of farm produce.”
According to the vision document, “There are 26 irrigation projects under Prime Minister Krishisinchai Yojna (PMKY) requiring Rs 16,603 crore. The completion of these projects would create an additional irrigation potential of 5.57 lakh hectares and water storage capacity 1324 mm3.”
In the 14 drought hit districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada which has registered highest suicides by farmers, the government has set a target to complete 107 projects within three years with additional irrigation potential of 1.43 lakh hectares. Apart from these there are seven irrigation projects in flood prone regions which would help to bring 1.34 lakh hectares of land under irrigation.
The state government has sought financial assistance of Rs 7,187 crore and Rs 3,500 crore to accomplish its target.
Apart from the projects included in PMKY and drought districts, government has taken on priority 225 projects out of 420 which are in various phases for the last 15-30 years.
Irrigation potential of 49.21 lakh hectares by June
Surpassing its own higher record of 42.51 lakh hectares of irrigation potential, the ministry of water resources on Wednesday projected 49.21 lakh hectares by June, 2017. The irrigation potential is worked out on the land that can be brought under agriculture within the irrigation command areas covering dams across state. The highest irrigation potential in command area in past was 32.46 lakh hectares during 2013-14.
Earlier, during an interaction with district collectors across Maharashtra, the chief minister urged them to expedite the ongoing Jalyukta Shivar projects before the onset of monsoons.