Maharashtra to launch second phase of Jalyukt Shivar project

Stating that the ruling Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was making efforts to promote groundwater conservation across Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that the government was in the process of launching the second phase of the ‘Jalyukt Shivar’ project in the State.

The multi-crore ‘Jalyukt Shivar’ drought-proofing scheme was Mr. Fadnavis’ pet project which was launched when he was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra between 2014 and 2019.

“We all know that 50% of Maharashtra witnesses less rainfall, therefore we do not have much options available. During the erstwhile [BJP] government, we had started the Jalyukt Shivar project by which we could promote water conservation in 20,000 villages in Maharashtra. Today, approximately 37 lakh hectares of land have come under irrigation, which is helping the farmers to sow two crops a year. Now we are going to launch ‘Jalyukt Shivar 2.0,” Mr. Fadnavis said, speaking to reporters.

Mr. Fadnavis was in Pune at the behest of the Paani Foundation, where he was asked to be part of the grand prize distribution ceremony for the ‘Farmer Cup Competition 2022’.

He said that in the first phase of the renewed Jalyukt Shivar scheme, the government would be focusing on 5,000 villages, adding that increased efforts would be taken to ensure proper water conversation in Maharashtra given the chances of an unpredictable monsoon.

The Jalyukt Shivar scheme had been much criticised by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report.