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Maharashtra seeking finance from World Bank for Marathwada water grid project, says CM Shinde

The Marathwada water grid aims to connect all irrigation projects in the region to overcome the water crisis there. It was conceived during the tenure of the Devendra Fadnavis government in the state between 2014 and 2019 and was then estimated to cost about Rs 40,000 crore.
Last Updated : 23 May 2024, 17:11 IST
Last Updated : 23 May 2024, 17:11 IST

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Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar: The Maharashtra government is seeking finance from the World Bank for the Marathwada water grid project and is also pursuing the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday.

Shinde met the divisional administration, collectors and a few guardian ministers over the water situation in the region in central Maharashtra.

The Marathwada water grid aims to connect all irrigation projects in the region to overcome the water crisis there. It was conceived during the tenure of the Devendra Fadnavis government in the state between 2014 and 2019 and was then estimated to cost about Rs 40,000 crore.

Asked about the water grid, the CM said, “We are seeking finance from the World Bank and pursuing the matter with the prime minister.” Marathwada receives an average annual rainfall of 751 mm. This year, the eight-district region has received 589.9 mm of rainfall with a deficit of 21.44 per cent. The number of tankers ferrying water has risen to 1,814, including 1,249 villages and 512 hamlets, here, an official said.

Shinde said the administration has been directed to clear tanker proposals in three days.

“Earlier, a fund was given by District Planning Committees for fodder farming. This produced good results and there is no shortage of animal fodder,” he said.

Asked about the funds announced for irrigation projects on September 17 last year on the Marathwada Liberation Day, Shinde said, “We have given a lot to farmers here. A crop insurance scheme is being offered at Re 1. We are also giving Rs 6,000 a year to farmers.” Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Ambadas Danve claimed the meeting was a 'timepass' and officials took selfies with fodder. “No planning has been done about how available water in the region will be utilised till July if it doesn’t rain in time.”

Danve also claimed that Maharashtra has lost a Rs 50,000-crore project.

The project by public sector undertaking GAIL (India) has gone to Madhya Pradesh when they were looking for land in Dabhol and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar.

“The government should clarify why this company went from Maharashtra to MP. Was there any pressure from the Centre to send this project to MP,” he asked.

About Danve’s allegations, Shinde said, “We don’t plant bombs near industrialists' homes. We have eased the process for investors in the state. Earlier, when they (opposition) levelled allegations over the Vedanta-Foxconn project, our government was two months old. Later, we brought a lot of investments and Maharashtra has become number one in terms of investment.”

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Published 23 May 2024, 17:11 IST

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