Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said that the opposition parties, chiding the Jalyukta Shivar project, are insulting the hard work put in by the people from the drought-hit villages.
While attributing the success of the flagship project to “aam aadmi”, he said that the contribution of the common people for the project in last four years was more than Rs 600 crore.
He said, “This is in addition to the physical labour where villagers, in their respective talukas, came forward to work at various project sites. The conservative estimates show that over 15 to 20 lakh people participated in the Jalyukta Shivar work. The role of villagers varied from working on cement nullah bunds to deepening and desilting of rivers and ponds.”
Fadnavis said, “It hurts me to see political rivals ridicule the project. Those who are chiding the project are insulting the sincere efforts undertaken by the people from the drought-hit villages.”
The state’s surplus food production, despite recurring drought and ability to sustain the income of the farmers, is a testimony to the success of the project, which has helped to create an additional water storage capacity of 22 lakh thousand cubic metres (TMC), he said. The additional irrigation potential was 28 lakh hectres.
According to the water conservation department, the Jalyukta Shivar had in the first two phases — 2015-16 and 2016-17 — helped to make 16,000 villages drought free. The work for drought mitigation is in progress in 9,000 villages.