Nagpur: As Maharashtra is battling one of the worst drought situations with many parts turning full dry, a trial run of Jalyukta Shivar project with the recent spell of rains have tied big hope to get rid of the situation. The rains, being dubbed as pre-monsoon showers, recently hit Vidarbha, Marathwada, North Maharashtra and parts of Western Maharashtra and filled the Jalyukta Shivar canals across these parts filled with muddy waters.
Officials from Nagpur, Amravati, Buldhana, Akola, Beed, Latur and Nanded are unveiling images and tales of pre-monsoon showers bringing to life dead and dry canals, farm ponds, village wells and barrages. This scene has left the farmers brimming with joy who had otherwise lost all hopes of getting relief from this project.
Even Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis turned foremost in sharing the images of the Jalyukta Shivar canals gushing with rain waters. With the forecast of good monsoon this year, the authorities and farmers are expecting enough water for irrigation through this project.
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) May 11, 2016
Enthused by the trial run of this project, thanks to the erratic rains, CM asks officials to complete Jalyukta Shivar projects by June. In the second week of May, overall water percentage in 11 mega dams in Marathwada was just three percent, which is alarming. However, IMD has predicted 130 per cent rains this monsoon in Marathwada.
A week ago, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis urged district collectors to expedite works of all ongoing Jalyukta Shivar Ahiyaan projects. The chief minister said, “If we have good monsoons, we will be able to reap the benefits as we have created almost 1,69,424 projects in the last one year, spread across 6,202 villages.”
The chief minister, who has himself taken the lead in sharing images of ‘Jalyukta Shivar’ posted from rural villages by farmers, NGOs and district officials emphasised, “If pre-monsoon rain of 7.33 mm can bring back life to dry canals, good monsoons will bring better harvest next season as we have created adequate structures.”
Sources in the ministry of water conservation revealed, “In the first phase, we completed 1,69,424 Jalyukta Shivar works across 6,202 villages. The total expenditure was Rs 2,053 crore.” There was enthusiastic public participation in the 4,930 projects which had an investment of Rs 274 crore. Fadnavis has repeatedly stressed, “The success of Jalyukta Shivar is people’s participation. It has turned into a water movement. The villagers are volunteering to participate in projects not only lending physical labour but also generously contributing for the project.”
At present, there are 34,960 ongoing Jalyukta Shivar works. In the second phase, 5000 villages reeling under drought have been accorded priority. Fadnavis has set a target of making 25,000 villages drought-free in the next three years.