Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao marked the foundation day of the state on Monday by outlining various measures taken by the Maharashtra government to tackle the agrarian crisis.
Addressing the Maharashtra Day function at Shivaji Park, Rao said that the ambitious Jalyukta Shivar scheme which aimed to tackle the drought situation was progressing smoothly. “I am glad to mention that under the Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan, more than 2.5 lakh works have been completed and about 12 lakh thousand cubic metres of water storage potential has been created. I am sure, the ‘farm pond on demand’ scheme and such other initiatives will go a long way in fulfilling our dream of sustainable agriculture,” Rao said.
He added, “I am happy to note that about 11,000 villages have already become drought free by conserving water in village watershed.”
The government has been stressing on the measures it took to tackle farmer suicides on the backdrop of the aggressive demand of the loan waiver put up by the opposition parties.
The state government has distributed crop loans amounting to Rs33,115 crore to more than 48 lakh farmers and crop loans of 6.85 lakh farmers have been restructured.
Rao also said that another project — Nanaji Deshmukh Krishi Sanjeevani Project — which was partly being funded by the World Bank would be introduced to make 4,000 villages of Vidarbha and Marathwada drought free.
Speaking about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, The governor said that 225 cities and towns in the Maharashtra have been declared free of open defecation.
“My government reaffirms its commitment to make urban Maharashtra open defecation free by 2 October, 2017,” Rao said.
He added that to eliminate, malnutrition among tribal children, the state government has broadened the scope of Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Amrut Aahar Yojana where pregnant women and lactating mothers are provided a meal per day.