Mumbai: To ensure there is no shortage of manpower for implementation of drought mitigation programmes, the Maharashtra government will hire retired officials on contract basis at the district level for a period of one year.
Retired officers from Groundwater Surveys Development Agency (GSDA), Agricultural Department, Water Resources Department and Revenue Department will be hired at the district level on contract basis till June 30, 2013, sources said.
According to officials, the state government`s drought mitigation strategy was to conserve rain water for drinking water, fodder and agriculture.
Optimum utilisation of rainfall received to salvage Kharif crops, increase water storage, recharge and strengthen existing drinking water sources, enhancing fodder production, providing alternative wage employment through MGNREGA will be some other steps of the strategy.
To maintain transparency, they said, video shooting of all works undertaken for drought mitigation will be made compulsory. Global Positioning System (GPS) co-ordinates of places where these works are being carried out and the video shooting of the works would be uploaded on the website of the agriculture department.
The government also plans to provide interest subsidy for conversion of Short Term Co-operative Loans.
The officials said due to water scarcity the farmers were unable to repay before due date. Defaulters are not eligible to avail fresh short term loan. Conversion of short term loan into medium term loan requires Rs 2060-crore.