Maharashtra government sanctions Rs 88 crore aid to Aamir Khan’s ‘Paani’ Foundation

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government would provide a financial assistance of around Rs 88 crore to actor Aamir Khan’s Paani Foundation for its water conservation work–Water Cup. The government has issued a circular stating that the assistance would be given for fuel expenditure. “The state will provide funds up to Rs 1.50 lakh per village to be spent on fuel. There are 5,900 villages across state that have participated in the Water Cup competition for the current fiscal,” as per the GR (Government Resolution) issued on Tuesday.

Paani Foundation conducts a competition called the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup, in which villages compete to win prizes for the best watershed management work. The GR stated that earth movers are being used for digging, cleaning and widening of existing streams and nullahs. Water Cup competition also assesses the quality of the work completed under the state government’s flagship water conservation scheme, Jalyukta Shivar.

The scheme aims at constructing a chain of check-dams to increase water availability in villages. A Water Conservation Department official said no such financial aid was provided for the Foundation’s work in the past. “Earlier, the state government used to fund only the construction cost while the fuel expenses were borne by district collectors. With this new GR, each village will get Rs 1.50 lakh for fuel expenses from the state, which means more villages can compete in the Water Cup competition,” said the official.

The Foundation has been holding the Water Cup competition in Maharashtra since 2016-17. As per the Foundation website, the third Water Cup will be held between April 8 and May 22 this year and that 5,945 villages applied for training this year. “The total budget of Jalyukta Shivar is Rs 1,400 crore of which Rs 88 crore will now be utilised for fuel expenses for the use of earth movers,” said the official.

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