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‘Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan’ an antidote to Maharashtra’s drought problems…

Novel scheme fires farmers’ imagination in perennially drought-hit areas. Image Courtesy: thehindu.com

Maharashtra State government is now focusing on building decentralised, local and farmer-oriented water bodies. A sponsored watershed programme called Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan (JSA) that has begun in over 6,000 villages, aims at making 5,000 of them free of water scarcity by March 2016.

Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan:

  • Proposed during the tenure of the Congress NCP government, the project has been expanded by the Devendra Fadnavis led BJP Shiv Sena regime.
  • The JSA has now become CM Mr. Devendra Fadnavis’ pet project, for which over Rs. 5,000 crore will be allocated.
  • The decision on the work to be undertaken under the JSA is taken at the gram sabha level.
  • Once the plan and the budget are approved, either people put in their money or raise a demand to the District Collector’s office. Several corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives too have been undertaken.

Droughts in Maharashtra:

  • Maharashtra has witnessed drought in the last two years.
  • According to the admission made by the State’s Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Eknath Khadse, over 1,000 farmers have committed suicide till date this year.
  • Despite spending over Rs. 70,000 crore on projects, the State has managed to increase its irrigation potential only by 0.01 per cent in the last one decade, says the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • At present only 18 per cent farming in the State is under irrigation, while 52 per cent area is prone to drought.

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