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World Bank boost for Maha to fight drought

drought hit india Updated: Apr 28, 2016 12:11 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
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People gather at a public water tap in Latur. (Satish Bate)

The World Bank will fund Rs5,000 crore for a project on water conservation and agriculture reforms for 6,000 drought-hit villages in Vidarbha and Marathwada. This was announced by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at a media briefing in the Capital on Sunday.

Fadnavis said the first-of-its-kind project that will include the implementation of various plans including drought proofing, watershed management to improvisation of the agriculture practices and changing crop patterns, will be kicked off in next six months.

“After our primary talks with the World Bank, it asked us to submit the comprehensive plan through department of external affairs for drought mitigation and agriculture related to funding. Our plan was accepted by the orld Bank and it has admitted to fund the project costing about Rs5,000 crore,” he said.

“Generally, the approval processing and commencement of the actual implementation of the World Bank funded drought-mitigation projects take about a year and a half, but treating it as an exceptional project the international funding agency has admitted to begin it in next six months,” said Fadnavis.

Read more: For the poor in Latur, it’s a long wait for water

The CM said that 4,000 villages covering half of the Marathwada and 2,000 villages in Vidarbha would be benefitted from the project. He added that the municipal corporations in Mumbai Metropolitan Region have been directed to adopt practice of recycling of the waste water at least for the industrial use. “We have also directed MIDC, which supply drinking water to the industries, to replace it with the treated water,” he said.

Fadnavis, meanwhile, said that the action initiated against the culprits involved in Deonar dumping ground fires was the tip of the iceberg and many more malpractices are yet to be revealed.

“Many shocking malpractices have come to the light. The investigating agency has seized hard disks of the digital system at the dumping ground and other evidence that will help expose the wrongdoings,” he said.

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