Water is my priority, Maharashtra CM tells Niti Aayog

first_imgMaharashtra has sought increased financial assistance from the Centre for the next five years to tackle drought. Presenting a charter of demands at the fifth governing council meeting of Niti Aayog , Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis urged the Centre to step in with increased assistance to help transport water from the Godavari basin criss-crossing Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha back into Marathwada and Vidarbha. “My government’s effort is to bring more water from Godavari into stressed areas of Marathwada and Vidarbha to make them free of scarcity in the future. This is my government’s priority for the next five years, and since Centre has assisted us last five years, I have forwarded similar demands to the Niti Aayog,” Mr. Fadnavis said in New Delhi on Saturday. The Maharashtra delegation — in back-to-back meetings with Hardeep Puri, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Civil Aviation, Commerce and Industry; Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Jal Shakti Minister; and Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel — discussed pending issues related to the Nagpur airport, Mumbai airport, Nagpur Metro phase 2 and PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Urban), senior officials said. The CM sought central assistance for the Marathwada water grid, river liking projects on Godavari with Mr. Shekhawat. “We made a detailed presentation to him (Mr Shekhawat) Other meetings focussed on water, agriculture and market reforms, including six to seven other concerns that the State faces. We have appraised various ministries of the work Maharastra has done in water resources and agri sector,” the CM said. The agenda of the governing council was focused on internal security, development in left wing extremism (LWE) areas, reforms of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act and Essential Commodities Act, 1955. Other issues discussed were progress of the Aspirational Districts Programme, launched in January 2018, and ways for encouraging water conservation through rain water harvesting, said officials. Maharashtra has declared 151 talukas as drought affected and is getting a central assistance of ₹4,714 crore. The government had deployed 5,493 tankers to provide water to 4,331 villages after 151 talukas were declared drought-hit. The Opposition alleged that the State government is purposely restricting water supply through tankers in areas where the scheme has not performed well.last_img

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