The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of Centrally Sponsored-Scheme for completion of 83 Minor Irrigation projects and 8 major/medium irrigation projects of Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of the rest of Maharashtra.

Completion of these projects will ensure assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects. This will increase yield of their crops and thereby increase the income of the farmers.

The special package shall help in creation of additional potential of 3.77 L Hectares. In Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of rest of Maharashtra. The projects included under special package are over and above the 26 major/ medium projects of Maharashtra having ultimate potential of 8.501 Ha being funded under PMKSY-AIBP, which are planned to be completed by December,2019. Progress of the projects would be monitored by State as well as Central Water Commission.

The overall balance cost of the projects as on 01.04.2018 is estimated to be Rs. 13,651.61 crore. This amounts @ 25% of the balance cost of these 91 projects as on 01.04.18 as well as 25% reimbursement for the expenditure incurred during 2017-18, keeping in view that funding of these projects is under consideration since 2017-18, would be provided. Total Central Assistance to be provided for implementation of these projects is Rs. 3,831.41 crore. Rest is to be provided by Government of Maharashtra. It is also envisaged that State Share may be arranged through NABARD.

On completion of the projects, the utilization of irrigation potential of about 3.77 lakh ha will transform the agriculture scenario of the region resulting in generation of substantially more employment opportunities through increase in cropping intensity, change in cropping pattern, agro processing and other ancillary activities. Moreover, implementation of scheme will generate employment of approximately 341 lakh man-days for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers.

Maharashtra has experienced hydrological and agricultural drought during the years 2012 to 2016. The situation has been worst in Vidharbha and Marathawada region with unfortunate incidence of suicides by farmers been reported there. Also Drought Prone Areas (DPA) in rest of Maharashtra have experienced distress in the recent years. These projects are ongoing, yet, they are languishing due to fund constraints as informed by the State Government. The completion of balance works of these projects will help in creation of additional 3.77 lakh hectare of irrigation potential and assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects. This will increase yield of their crops and thereby increase the income of the farmers.

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