Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday backed a plan proposed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to seek help from the World Bank to execute an innovative water project to combat the persistent droughts in the state.
The prime minister held a wide-ranging discussions with Fadnavis on the prevalent situation in the drought-hit areas of the state.
PM Modi stressed on the vitality of increasing water use efficiency through sprinkler and drip irrigation, including in sugarcane cultivation.
During the meeting, he pointed out that the usage of modern solid and liquid waste management practices in the urban areas would benefit the adjoining rural areas.
In his tweet messages after the meeting, Modi said that Fadnavis had apprised him about the “Jal Yukt Shivar Abhiyan” and the state government's efforts to complete the irrigation projects across the state.
“I held a wide-ranging discussions on the drought affected parts of Maharashtra and how to mitigate it,” PM Modi tweeted.
PM Modi said that the Centre fully supports Maharashtra government's “Climate Resilient Agriculture Modernisation Project” for a World Bank loan.
He also said that the project is worth $600 million.
The prime minister called for medium and long term solutions for mitigating drought and urged the centre, states, local bodies, NGOs and citizens to work together to resolve the problem.
He emphasized the need to adopt a judicious mix of traditional and modern water conservation and storage mechanisms and said that it will help in crop diversification, value-addition and broadbasing sources of income for farmers.
The chief minister informed the prime minister that the state is focusing on climate resilient agriculture to ensure water security at the farm level. He said that currently 28,000 villages of Maharashtra were hit by drought.
Fadnavis said that the state has set a target of 51,500 farm ponds for the 2016-17 financial year, which may be scaled up further. He also sought Rs 10,000 crores from the Centre for the three years to complete pending irrigation projects in his drought-hit state.
He also explained the state’s efforts to complete critical irrigation projects in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions in a time-bound manner.
He also spoke of the work done to bring more farmers under the umbrella of institutional credit.