Maharashtra’s Ambitious Irrigation Schemes to Combat Water Scarcity: Ajit Pawar Unveils Budget Plans

Highlighting the critical importance of water conservation and management in the face of diminishing rainfall and erratic weather patterns

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As the specter of water scarcity looms large over Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar unveiled ambitious plans to bolster the state’s irrigation infrastructure during the presentation of the interim budget in the Legislative Assembly.

Highlighting the critical importance of water conservation and management in the face of diminishing rainfall and erratic weather patterns, Pawar announced substantial allocations to various irrigation schemes aimed at ensuring timely access to water for agricultural activities.

“With 259 irrigation projects currently underway, we are committed to completing 39 projects, thereby enhancing irrigation capacity across 2 lakh 34 thousand hectares of land. Under the Balirajas Irrigation Scheme, 46 projects have been successfully completed, with an additional 16 projects slated for completion by March 2025,” Pawar declared, underlining the government’s proactive approach to irrigation development.

Addressing the pressing need to mitigate flood-related losses in Kolhapur and Sangli districts, Pawar unveiled a groundbreaking project backed by World Bank assistance amounting to 3200 crores. This initiative aims to bolster resilience against natural calamities while facilitating sustainable water management practices in flood-prone regions.

Furthermore, Pawar outlined plans to revitalize aging irrigation infrastructure under the Maharashtra Irrigation Reform Program, targeting the completion of 155 projects spanning over 25 years, alongside 75 incomplete projects within the next three years. These efforts are projected to augment irrigation capacity by 3 lakh 55 thousand hectares and create a water reservoir of 23.37 TMC, necessitating an estimated expenditure of 15 thousand crores.

In a bid to address regional disparities, Pawar allocated significant funds towards irrigation projects tailored to the specific needs of Vidarbha and Marathwada regions. Notably, the Wainganga Nalganga river connection project in Vidarbha promises to benefit over 3 lakh 71 thousand hectares of arable land, while Marathwada stands to gain from a suite of major and minor irrigation projects designed to enhance water security and agricultural productivity.

Moreover, Pawar emphasized the importance of comprehensive watershed management, announcing extensive initiatives to harness river basin resources and expand arable land through the Khar Bhumi Vikas program. Proposals for the construction of barrages and development of saline-prone areas underscored the government’s commitment to holistic water resource management and agricultural sustainability.

As the specter of water scarcity looms large over Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar unveiled ambitious plans to bolster the state’s irrigation infrastructure during the presentation of the interim budget in the Legislative Assembly.

Highlighting the critical importance of water conservation and management in the face of diminishing rainfall and erratic weather patterns, Pawar announced substantial allocations to various irrigation schemes aimed at ensuring timely access to water for agricultural activities.

“With 259 irrigation projects currently underway, we are committed to completing 39 projects, thereby enhancing irrigation capacity across 2 lakh 34 thousand hectares of land. Under the Balirajas Irrigation Scheme, 46 projects have been successfully completed, with an additional 16 projects slated for completion by March 2025,” Pawar declared, underlining the government’s proactive approach to irrigation development.

Addressing the pressing need to mitigate flood-related losses in Kolhapur and Sangli districts, Pawar unveiled a groundbreaking project backed by World Bank assistance amounting to 3200 crores. This initiative aims to bolster resilience against natural calamities while facilitating sustainable water management practices in flood-prone regions.

Furthermore, Pawar outlined plans to revitalize aging irrigation infrastructure under the Maharashtra Irrigation Reform Program, targeting the completion of 155 projects spanning over 25 years, alongside 75 incomplete projects within the next three years. These efforts are projected to augment irrigation capacity by 3 lakh 55 thousand hectares and create a water reservoir of 23.37 TMC, necessitating an estimated expenditure of 15 thousand crores.

In a bid to address regional disparities, Pawar allocated significant funds towards irrigation projects tailored to the specific needs of Vidarbha and Marathwada regions. Notably, the Wainganga Nalganga river connection project in Vidarbha promises to benefit over 3 lakh 71 thousand hectares of arable land, while Marathwada stands to gain from a suite of major and minor irrigation projects designed to enhance water security and agricultural productivity.

Moreover, Pawar emphasized the importance of comprehensive watershed management, announcing extensive initiatives to harness river basin resources and expand arable land through the Khar Bhumi Vikas program. Proposals for the construction of barrages and development of saline-prone areas underscored the government’s commitment to holistic water resource management and agricultural sustainability.

As Maharashtra charts its course towards water resilience and agricultural prosperity, Ajit Pawar’s budgetary provisions signify a concerted effort to address pressing challenges and unlock the state’s vast agricultural potential.

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