Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday mentioned the Maharashtra government’s flagship project Jalyukta Shivar to tackle drought situation in the country. Speaking at the BJP national conclave in Bhubaneswar, he asked other states to replicate the Maharashtra model to overcome water crisis and help farmers.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Water Conservation said the state government already had offers from various states to study the Jalyukta Shivar model. The states that have shown interest in the project includes Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
A senior officer told The Indian Express: “Officials from Karnakata have expressed their desire to replicate the Jalyukta Shivar model in their state.” The neighbouring state facing drought-like situation has already sought release of additional water from Krishna river basin in Maharashtra. The officer said 2.65 TMC water was being released to Karnataka.
Sources said the state government had given the Karnataka officials a list of prominent water management persons, such as Popatrao Pawar and Prof Rajendra Singh, among others, who had been working closely with the state’s flagship project. It also furnished various types of water conservation works underway across drought-prone villages in the state.
Water crisis has badly hit southern states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, parts of Telengana and Andhra Pradesh.
Though Uttar Pradesh is water surplus, Chief Minister Yogi Aadityanath too has conveyed to Maharashtra that he wants to look at the water management model.
Sources said officials in Rajasthan had already evolved a similar model to tackle the state’s water problems.
Last week, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had directed all guardian ministers to come out with a detailed report on Jalyukta Shivar work in their respective districts. After completion of the project, the government plans to upgrade it and ensure maintenance of the work done to optimise the water potential.
The Jalyukta Shivar project was launched in Maharashtra on January 26, 2015. While work on two phases are complete at a total expenditure of Rs 3,200 crore, including people’s contribution of Rs 550 crore. For third phase, the process of shortlisting 5,000 villages has started this month. The government plans to make all 25,000 drought-prone villages water reliant by 2019.