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Tankers exit Marathwada as conservation project delivers

Author: Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: April 30, 2017
URL:   http://m.timesofindia.com/city/mumbai/tankers-exit-marathwada-as-conservation-project-delivers/articleshow/58439839.cms

The implementation of CM Devendra Fadnavis's Jalyukta Shivar scheme has resulted in most districts in drought-prone Marathwada not needing tankers at all or reducing their requirement of tankers for the supply of drinking water.

A few months after he took over the reins of the state in October 2014, Fadnavis launched the Jalyukta Shivar scheme to make the state drought-free by 2019. Under the scheme, Fadnavis proposed to make 5,000 villages free of water scarcity every year. The scheme envisages deepening and widening of streams, construction of cement and earth stop dams, work on nullahs, digging of farm ponds and removal of silt from lakes.

"It was an attempt to halt further depletion of underground water level and enhance it by undertaking new techniques with the involvement of villagers. Our aim is to ensure that in the next two years, all the 23,000 villages will be drought-free. We have proposed to utilise Rs 3,766 crore for the scheme. Besides budgetary provision, we expect to garner CSR funds," a bureaucrat said.

The bureaucrat said that for the effective implementation of the scheme, a high-level committee headed by the chief secretary had been set up.

The bureaucrat said that against 4,640 tankers deployed on April 25 last year for providing drinking water to 3,586 villages and 5,993 hamlets, now only 669 tankers have been deployed for 886 villages and 2207 hamlets. "There is a marked improvement in drought-prone areas in Marathwada region," the official said.
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