Pune: The second phase of ‘Jalyukt Shivar’, one of Maharashtra’s ambitious water conservation project, is all set to start soon, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Sunday.
What is 'Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyaan'?
The 'Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyaan' was started in 2014 when Devendra Fadnavis was chief minister to deepen and widen streams, build cement and earthen stop dams and restoring nullahs and digging farm ponds to enhance water availability for farming. The aim was to make the state drought-free by removing water scarcity in 5000 villages per year.
It, however, got caught up in allegations of shoddy work and favouritism once the Maha Vikas Aghadi government took over late 2019. In October 2020, a probe was initiated by the MVA government claiming the Comptroller and Auditor General's report had pointed out to irregularities.
"Water conservation is the only option for Maharashtra": Fadnavis
"We all know 50 per cent of Maharashtra gets rainfall. We don't have any other option but to go in for water conservation. We will start second phase of Jalyukt Shivar soon," Fadnavis told reporters.
"We had managed to conserve water in 20,000 villages with this project. Some 37 lakh hectares of land came under irrigation, which helped the farmers to cultivate two crops in a year," he said.
The project is important this year as some weather models are predicting El Nino effect, which may need water conservation on a large scale, Fadnavis added.
El Nino effect can bring about drought in some areas, like India and Australia, while it can bring about floods in other parts of the world.
(With inputs from PTI)
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