Maharashtra Water Conservation Minister Shankarrao Gadakh on Tuesday said the 'Jalyukt Shivar' scheme launched by the previous BJP-led government would not be scrapped.
Gadakh said this in a written reply in the state Legislative Council to a question raised by Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) leader Jayant Patil.
"There is no question of closing down the Jalyukt Shivar scheme. The scheme was given extension till December 31, 2019 and as of now there is no question of closing it," the minister said.
He further told the House that from 2015 to 2019, 22,586 villages were selected for the scheme's implementation.
"So far, 6,32,708 works have been completed with total expenditure of Rs 9,707 crore," he said.
On recommendations of an expert committee about the quality of works, Gadakh said a committee headed by former chief secretary of Maharashtra has already submitted its recommendations to the Bombay High Court as a writ petition was filed in 2018.
The state also filed an affidavit in the court on June 17, 2019, informing about the action plan, he added.
BJP MLA Narayan Kuche on Monday appealed to the Shiv Sena-led coalition government not to wind up the Jalyukt Shivar water conservation scheme and the water grid project of the previous Devendra Fadnavis government.
"If you want, you can rechristen the 'Jalyukt' and water grid schemes after NCP chief Sharad Pawar or Congress president Sonia Gandhi, but don't wind them up as they are crucial in resolving the water woes," the legislator from Badnapur in parched Marathwada region said.