Mumbai: The Maharashtra government is fully committed to taking additional measures for tackling water scarcity situation, Governor K Sankaranarayanan said today.
He was addressing a joint sitting of the Maharashtra Legislature after the Budget session began here today.
"Failure of monsoon for second consecutive year has been a matter of deep concern for the state government," the Governor said.
"In February 2012, only 230 tankers were supplying drinking water, while in the current year by the end of February, the number is now nearly ten-fold at 2,136 tankers.
"Various schemes for supply of drinking water in the scarcity areas, including supply through tankers in 1,663 villages and 4,490 hamlets, have been implemented and during current financial year the state has so far spent Rs 414 crore on emergency measures to provide drinking water," he said.
"Nearly 11,801 villages of the state are facing drought, some of them during second consecutive year resulting into acute shortage of fodder. The government has opened 554 cattle camps to provide fodder and at present more than 4.5 lakh animals are in such camps.
"During current financial year, the state has so far spent Rs 749 crore for fodder. Labour attendance on relief works is as high as 2 lakh. The state government is fully committed to take additional measures for tackling scarcity situation," he said.
Jat and Aatpadi talukas (in western Maharashtra) have been facing acute drinking water scarcity. To overcome this situation, the government has decided to provide water from Mhaisal and Tembhu lift irrigation schemes, through canal, the Governor said.
"Similarly, a decision to pay the bills of Takari,
Mhaisal, Tembhu, Purandar, Urmodi, Janai-Sirsai and Mukatainagar lift irrigation schemes from the scarcity relief funds has been taken. This will ensure continuous supply of water to these areas," he said.
To mitigate the drought situation, the government has taken up a massive programme of fodder development with an outlay of nearly Rs 95 crore under various schemes, he said.
More than 3 lakh hectare area has been brought under fodder crops. Estimated production is 60 lakh tonnes of green fodder in drought affected areas during kharif, rabi and summer season.
"To mitigate the impact of drought and to give higher compensation and financial help to farmers, the `National Agriculture Insurance Scheme` (NAIS) is being implemented in the state," he said.
In rabi season of 2012-13, the government has increased indemnity level from 60 per cent to 80 per cent for all major crops.
"It is expected that the state would have highest coverage of rabi crop area this year and record number of farmers would get the benefit of the insurance," he said.