White Paper on irrigation presented at Maharashtra cabinet meet

A white paper on irrigation projects in Maharashtra will be presented before the state cabinet on Thursday.

Mumbai: A white paper on irrigation, which claims 28 per cent increase in irrigation potential in Maharashtra in the last ten years, was presented at the state cabinet meeting here on Thursday night.

Irrigation Minister Sunil Tatkare of NCP made the presentation at the two-hour-long meeting at the state guest-house Sahyadri here, official sources said.

The development is expected to facilitate former Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar`s re-entry into the cabinet, after he resigned over allegations of under-performance and corruption in the irrigation sector.

Sources, however, said the white paper was a status report and not an investigation report.

The irrigation potential has risen to 47.50 lakh hectares in 2010 from 37 lakh hectares in 2001, an increase of 28 per cent, as per the white paper, the sources said.

The rise in irrigated area has been a record 72 per cent at 29 lakh hectares, they added.

Earlier this year, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan (who chaired today`s cabinet meeting) had announced that government would come out with a white paper on irrigation.

The announcement had ruffled feathers in the NCP camp, as the portfolio has always been with the Sharad Pawar-led party.

The paper, after approval by the cabinet, would be tabled in the state legislature during the winter session starting at Nagpur from December 10.


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