Nashik: Government's Diversion Scheme Faces Opposition Amidst Calls For Land Return

Nashik: Government's Diversion Scheme Faces Opposition Amidst Calls For Land Return

Efforts are underway to prepare proposals for the return of surplus lands to their original owners, but the government stresses the importance of advancing with the scheme in the broader public interest, particularly amid prevailing drought conditions. Cooperation from all stakeholders, including farmers, is essential for the successful implementation of the scheme.

Prashant NikaleUpdated: Sunday, March 17, 2024, 04:32 PM IST
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The government's initiative to divert excess water from the Western channel rivers to the Godavari river basin through diversion schemes has encountered resistance from farmers. One such scheme, the Upper Vaitarna Mukane Vahan Yojana, aims to redirect surplus water from the Upper Vaitarna Dam to the Mukane Dam in the Godavari river basin, totaling 16.50 TMC of water. Although the commencement order for this project was issued in June 2022, farmers are demanding the return of land acquired for quarrying and the submerged area of the Vaitarna Dam to its original owners before proceeding with the scheme.

Despite assurances that the scheme will only utilize government land and not affect personal land belonging to farmers, opposition persists. The Water Resources Department has urged farmers to cooperate with the scheme, emphasizing its broader public interest.

Due to heavy rainfall in areas like Igatpuri, where the scheme is situated, work can only be carried out during the months of March to May when water levels decrease. The project aims to alleviate drought conditions by diverting excess water from the sea to deficit basins like the Godavari, temporarily.

The Supreme Court of India has directed the immediate completion of these diversion schemes, prompting scrutiny from lawmakers and the filing of contempt petitions for non-compliance. The government asserts that the return of surplus land and the execution of the scheme are distinct matters and will be pursued separately.

Efforts are underway to prepare proposals for the return of surplus lands to their original owners, but the government stresses the importance of advancing with the scheme in the broader public interest, particularly amid prevailing drought conditions. Cooperation from all stakeholders, including farmers, is essential for the successful implementation of the scheme.

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