Mumbai: The Centre on Wednesday cleared a special central package for completion of 91 ongoing irrigation projects (83 minor and eight major/medium) of Marathwada, Vidarbha and other drought-prone areas of Maharashtra, languishing due to fund constraints and this will create additional potential of 3.77 lakh hectares. The state government had approached it to help complete the balance works of these projects.
The decision of the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Miniser Modi will enable completion of these projects to ensure assured source of water to the farmers in the command area to increase their income with more yield of crops, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a press conference here.
He said this special package is over and above 26 major and medium projects of Maharashtra with ultimate potential of 8.5 lakh hectares planned to be completed by December 2019 under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). The projects for which the package was announced require Rs 13,651 crore for completion. While the Centre will provide Rs 3,831.41 crore, the rest is to be provided by the state government, officials said.
It may be recalled that Maharashtra experienced drought from 2012 to 2016, with the worst situation in Vidarbha and Marathwada leading to suicides by many farmers.