Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said that the state government has focused its efforts to complete the maximum number of projects scheduled in farmer suicide prone regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha in the state.
The minister further added that the government has decided to take up the projects in the regions on priority and finish them so as to provide relief to farmers.
He also said that the state owes around Rs 4,800 crore towards land acquired from farmers for various irrigation projects in the state.
“For more than three generations this amount is pending for payment with interest, and in some cases farmers do not get their payment during their life time. To change this situation the government has come out with bonds for Rs 15,000 crore at 7-8 per cent interest. From these bonds Rs 5,000 crore would be allocated for wiping out pending payments,” he said.
This will have dual benefits—one the farmers will get their long pending money—and second the government will save 50 per cent of the interest payout, Mahajan added.
He was also of the opinion that Surya hydroelectric project should move fast as the western belt was facing acute water shortage due to fast urbanisation.
On Barvi dam, the minister said there were numerous issues to tackle apart from increase in height and “we are in the process of solving the water needs of cities and towns dependent on it.”