‘Less than fifth of sown area in state under irrigation’

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 31 Januari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Shockingly Maharashtra's only less than a fifth of the sown area is under irrigation, reveals a paper of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) that was released by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday.

Experts said this pathetic situation, which has led to poor irrigation, less cultivation and ultimately high inflation, is despite the fact that erstwhile governments spent Rs 65000 crore over and above the estimates leaving strong doubts of corruption. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report released last year has questioned the huge amount of money spent on irrigation projects which brought a very miniscule land under irrigation.

The paper further insists that it is high time for the government to complete the irrigation projects which are underway as the banks may support minor and micro irrigation projects. "To develop large rain-fed areas watershed development is another priority area for the state," the report said. Meanwhile talking to TOI Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis admitted the fact that there was very less sown area that was under irrigation and pointed out that it was because of this situation his government had taken up watershed development top on the agenda. The paper also wants state to increase and strengthen godown and transport facilities in the villages to motivate larger agriculture production.

Shockingly the CAG report also revealed that even after years of delay in completing important dam projects and allegations of corruption, there is a situation where a good rainfall for even a few weeks can flood huge tracts of land because of dam bursts. A CAG report has found the structural strength of 348 dams suspect as they have not been inspected for over a decade. This is despite the fact that government has spent Rs 70,000 crore more than the estimate, the report had added.

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