Maharashtra govt readies Rs 67,000 cr for 277 irrigation projects
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Maharashtra, which is investigating an irrigation scam that surfaced during the the previous Congress-led government, has lined up funds required for 277 pending projects across the state.
A total of Rs 67,000 crore will be needed to complete these irrigation projects that have been languishing for want of funds. Some could not be completed due to paltry allocations and also because of alleged corruption in awarding contracts. The government plans to complete the projects by 2020.
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''Of the Rs 67,000 crore, the government will provide Rs 24,000 crore through budgetary allocations in phases. The government also plans to raise loans worth Rs 12,770 crore from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) and issue bonds worth Rs 14,800 crore. It is seeking Rs 3,830 crore as central assistance and another Rs 2,000 crore as assistance from Nabard,'' a Maharashtra irrigation department official who is involved in the fund mobilisation told Business Standard.
The official said the government would seek a special package of Rs 10,687 crore to meet its fund requirements.
According to the Maharashtra irrigation department, 18 per cent of the land tilled in the state is irrigated against the national average of 45 per cent. Maharashtra scores low against the 98 per cent irrigation in Punjab, 90 per cent in Haryana, 60 per cent in Uttar Pradesh and 60 per cent in Bihar.
The state’s irrigated potential is just 21.63 per cent of its cultivable area with the ultimate potential that can be created at 38 per cent. Maharashtra has 1,845 dams, which constitute 35 per cent of the country’s large dams.
After completion of these 277 projects the state government reckons these dams can irrigate another 3.22 million hectares of farmland.