October 16, 2018 3:18:30 am
The state government has allotted Rs 1,000 crore to revive 40,000 water structures across Maharashtra which are in a state of neglect or lay buried, under a plan that aims to promote low-cost, water-conservation techniques. The decision comes in the wake of a severe drought situation staring the state with 175 talukas out of Maharashtra’s 355 talukas receiving less than 75 per cent rainfall during the monsoon. The decision aims to serve a twin purpose: increase the water storage capacity and also create jobs under MNREGA.
A senior official in the water conservation department told The Indian Express, “We have identified 84,000 water conservation projects, which were built in the last six decades but are now non-functional and lying abandoned.”
These structures are being identified through satellite-mapping. Of the 84,000 structures, 40,000 will be taken up on priority. The scheme entails that the government will provide 50 per cent of the cost of reviving a water structure and the gram panchayat concerned will have to bear the rest 50 per cent. Among the 40,000 structures are old KT Weirs, pazar talav (farm ponds), cement nulla bunds, irrigation wells and river canals.
An official said, “If we were to construct a new KT Weir it would cost Rs 1.6 crore. Whereas, if we revive a dilapidated KT Weir, the total expenditure comes to only Rs 30 lakh. We have worked on the project on a pilot basis in the Nashik region.” “Similarly, building a new pazar talav with water storage capacity of 141,000 million cubic feet (TMC) will cost Rs 2 crore. Whereas, reviving an old structure will cost Rs 25-30 lakh,” he added.
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