Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Saturday said plans were afoot to make state drought-proof in three years. He was speaking at an interaction with reporters here.
Chavan said he has identified five critical issues drought,industrial policy,urbanisation,rainfed agriculture and education that need to be addressed to change the face of Maharashtra.
Chavan said,The state will require Rs 60,000 crore to complete the ongoing irrigation projects. I have decided to allocate Rs 10,000 crore from state funds and sought an equal amount from the Centre for three consecutive years.
Chavan said the state had spent Rs 5,500 crore to tackle drought this year. This fund was consumer-oriented and could not be used for creation of permanent assets to mitigate drought,he said.
He said the Centre was considering the states demand but Finance Minister P Chidamabaram has expressed some reservations.
The CM also spoke of the Gosikhurd project being stalled. The state had allocated Rs 1,200 crore for completion of the project. Rehabilitation of villagers has hampered work. I have now decided to monitor the problems and expedite the project, he said.
The CM said compulsory drip irrigation in sugarcane cultivation would help the state save 40 per cent water.
The state is also contemplating selling sewage water to private firms,which will treat it and in turn sell it for commercial non-potable use.