New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Saturday said the state recorded 115.70 lakh metric tonnes of food production despite drought and deficient rainfall, thanks to various water conservation methods adopted by it. He was here to attend the NITI Aayog meet.
"We achieved 115.70 lakh metric tonnes food grain production. This could be possible because of less dependency on rainfall and putting in place alternative arrangements," Fadnavis said. He also elaborated on the benefits of Jal Yukt Shivar farm ponds and the ongoing irrigation projects and plans for the ambitious Marathwada Watergrid project. Jal Yukt Shivar is the flagship programme of the Mahrashtra government. It envisages desilting streams and encouraging farm ponds with an emphasis on percolation of water.
Fadnavis also talked about the measures taken by his government to mitigate drought like deploying tankers, fodder camps and massive tree plantation programmes. He thanked the Centre for the "highest ever assistance" to Maharashtra this year to tackle the drought situation. "Rs 4,248.59 crore assistance has been received so far and it was distributed among farmers," he said. The BJP leader said the Maharashtra government is also stressing on efforts for rainwater harvesting in cities.
As of now, 13,277 such plans have been approved in major cities like Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune and Thane municipal corporations, he said. Fadnavis also underlined measures taken to tackle the Naxal problem in the state. Numerous measures are under implementation in partnership with NGOs and corporates in Nandurbar, Osmanabad, Washim and Gadchiroli districts, he said. "In 2018, Maharashtra Police succeeded in eliminating 50 Naxals, the highest ever, and 154 naxals surrendered in last five years. Improved interstate coordination and joint operations are giving good results," the chief minister added.