How two key schemes helped BJP trump civic polls in Maharashtra | india-news | Hindustan Times
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How two key schemes helped BJP trump civic polls in Maharashtra

india Updated: Mar 06, 2017 11:06 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Maharashtra civic polls

BJP workers celebrate the party's victory in the Maharashtra civic polls in Bhopal, in this file photo from February 25.(PTI)

The verdict in the recently concluded civic body polls, seen as a mini-assembly battle, has bolstered the BJP, not just in urban Maharashtra, but also in rural parts of the state.

After successive drought years, the Devendra Fadnavis government has been able to turn around farm output to a six-year high crossing the 150 lakh tonne mark.

Coming on the back of a bountiful monsoon, two government schemes are turning out to be game-changer for the state and the BJP.

Inadequate rain triggered a drought-like condition in the state, bringing down the farm output during 2014-15 and 2015-16 to 83 lakh tonne.

This was when the government accelerated the expansion of its scheme Jalyukta Shivir Abhiyan to conserve water in rural parts by creating small reservoirs.

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The scheme helped many farmers, whose rabbi output doubled as the water conserved as ponds increased the groundwater level and retained the moisture level of soil.

According to Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), around 90% villages in Maharashtra have their wells recharged, something the state did not see happening since 2009 when it faced drought.

“With good rains this year and the water conservation programme, the situation has changed,” said Sunil Patil, GSDA director.

The other scheme Fadnavis government introduced was the farmer-consumer weekly markets in major cities, mainly in Pune, Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.

Through 83 such markers, farmers have sold their produce directly to consumers without paying the 20% surcharge for loading, unloading, weighing and transportation. While the absence of levies has helped farmers earn extra, the consumers too are happy to get fresh produce at cheaper rates.

With the massive victory under him, Fadnavis was ecstatic when he tweeted: “This is historic win in a true sense. Our success in ZP elections is remarkable. And the BJP won seats for the first time at many places.”