The state Cabinet on Wednesday decided to cut short the size of the fund allocation meant for micro irrigation projects, a scheme that has been successful in bringing land under irrigation. The state has decided to restrict the allocation to Rs. 250 crore due to lack of support from the Centre and overspending in the previous year.
The state government sanctioned proposals worth Rs. 632 crore under micro irrigation in 2011-12, of which proposals worth Rs. 518 crore were completed. The government was forced to utilise the allocation of 2012-13 to finish proposals that were incomplete the previous year.
After the state Cabinet realised that the funds required for the proposals to be completed in 2012-13 have already been utilised last year, the government has decided to restrict the allocation to Rs. 250 crore. The state has decided to avail of funds from the Centre-sponsored National Agriculture Development Scheme and form a district-planning scheme for the new projects.
“The Cabinet has decided to provide funds to irrigation schemes in Konkan, Vidarbha and Marathwada as spending in western Maharashtra has been the highest,” said a Congress minister. He said that the Central government’s contribution for micro irrigation projects has reduced to Rs152 crore in 2012-13 from Rs232.80 crore the previous year. He said that the projects brought 2.76 lakh hectare land under irrigation in 2011-12 and 2.26 lakh hectare in 2012-13.