CCEA approves Special Package for Irrigation Projects in drought prone areas of Vidarbha, Marathwada
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved implementation of Centrally Sponsored-Scheme for completion of 83 minor irrigation projects and 8 major or medium irrigation projects in Maharashtra’s drought prone areas of Vidharbha, Marathawada regions.
The special package aims to create additional potential of 3.77 lakh hectares in these drought prone areas. It will ensure assured source of water to farmers in command area of these projects. This will increase yield of their crops and thereby increase the income of the farmers.
The projects included under special package will be funded under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana- Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (PMKSY-AIBP) and are planned to be completed by December 2019. Progress of projects will be monitored by State as well as Central Water Commission (CWC).
The overall balance cost of projects is estimated to be Rs. 13,651.61 crore. Central Assistance for implementation of these projects will be Rs. 3,831.41 crore and rest will be provided by State Government which may be arranged through NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development).
On completion of these projects, utilization of irrigation potential of about 3.77 lakh ha will transform agriculture scenario of these drought prone region resulting in generation of substantially more employment opportunities through increase in cropping intensity, change in cropping pattern, agro processing and other ancillary activities. It will result employment generation of approximately 341 lakh man-days for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers.
Maharashtra has experienced hydrological and agricultural drought during three years period from 2012 to 2016. The situation was worst in Vidharbha and Marathawada region with high incidence rate of suicides by farmers. Besides, these regions, drought prone areas (DPA) in rest of the state also had experienced distress in recent years. These irrigation projects are ongoing projects, but they were languishing due to fund constraints.