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Maharashtra will require Rs 1 lakh crore for irrigation projects : CM Fadnavis

Fadnavis also expressed concerns in power sector arguing, "The government would promote solar pumps to tackle the power crisis."

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: December 9, 2014 6:59:43 pm

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said development of backward Vidarbha and Marathwada is integral for the overall growth of the state. Fadnavis who outlined the critical sectors said the total funds required to complete the ongoing irrigation projects across state would be Rs one lakh crore. And reiterated that irrigation potential of state is just 18 per cent.

During an interaction with media at Nagpur, Fadnavis said, “The emphasis of the government would be on small irrigation projects along with water conservation given greater priority.” While admitting that drip irrigation would be made mandatory in cultivation of sugar cane crops which is high water intensity, he said, “ We will have rework our policies to maximise the irrigation potential in the next five years.”

The chief minister indicated that reforms in power tariff, higher investment in industrial sector, non-conventional energy polices are some of the decisions which will be accorded greater priority.

The chief minister expressed concerns in power sector arguing, “The government would promote solar pumps to tackle the power crisis.” Almost 5.5 lakh solar pumps would be installed in phased manner which would bring down the reliance of farmers on conventional power.

According to Fadnavis, “The solar energy requires initial investment in developing the infrastructure. But it is result oriented as it can be availed almost 300 out of 365 days in Maharashtra.” He said, “Instead of power subsidy given to farmers if we utilise the Rs 20,000
crore it would address almost 50 per cent of the power requirement in agriculture sector.”

He reiterated government’s concern to rationalise the power tariff to industries to make them more competitive vis a vis other states which have lower power rates. And also indicated that the thrust on attracting higher investment to boost the industry remains a challenge. The chief minister also highlighted the commitment to digital land records.

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