Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday sought Rs 10,000 crores from the Centre for the three years to complete pending irrigation projects in his drought-hit state.
Briefing to media after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, Fadnavis said, “I apprised the Prime Minister of the drought situation in the state. We have asked for a package of Rs 7,500 crore for completion of irrigation projects in Marathwada and Vidarbha in coming three years, while a special package of Rs. 2500 crore for completing pending irrigation projects in drought prone region of Western Maharashtra. On both these issues, we have received a very positive response from the Centre.”
Senior officials from the Centre, and Maharashtra, were also present during the meeting. Fadnavis said the Centre has accepted his government’s request to submit a supplementary memorandum as an additional 11,000 villages in the state are now facing drought.
Fadnavis said they also discussed the short and long term measures to tackle drought situation. “The Centre has been helping us and has also assured of more assistance if needed to deal with drought situation. We also rolled out a plan to save water as monsoon is approaching,” he added.
He also explained his state’s efforts to complete critical irrigation projects in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions in a time-bound manner. He also spoke of the work done to bring more farmers under the umbrella of institutional credit. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi took to Twitter to divulge the details of the meeting.
“CM @Dev_Fadnavis & I held wide-ranging discussions on the drought in parts of Maharashtra & how to mitigate it. Stressed on vitality of increasing water use efficiency through sprinkler & drip irrigation including in sugarcane cultivation,” he said.
“Usage of modern solid & liquid waste management practices in urban areas will also benefit the adjoining rural areas.CM @Dev_Fadnavis apprised me about the Jal Yukt Shivar Abhiyan & State Govt’s efforts to complete irrigation projects across the state,” he added.
Fadnavis informed the Prime Minister that the state is focusing on climate resilient agriculture; and has proposed a climate resistant agriculture modernization project for a World Bank loan, to ensure water security at the farm level. He thanked the Centre for expeditiously recommending this project to the World Bank.
Prime Minister Modi also insisted that the Centre fully supports the project for a World Bank loan, which is worth USD 600 million.
Initiating the discussion, the Prime Minister stated that the Centre, states, local bodies, NGOs and citizens have to work together to resolve the problems posed by the drought. He also called for focus on medium and long term solutions for drought-proofing.