Maharashtra to dig 100,000 wells to combat water crisis

With a drought threat looming, Maharashtra plans to dig a whopping 100,000 wells and create 50,000 farm ponds from August 15, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced here on Thursday.

The uncertainty over rains has reduced the ground water table which has adversely hit farming, prompting the state government to launch a major statewide water conservation programme.

Devendra Fadnavis
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

"This will have multiple benefits especaily in the 14 suicide-prone districts of the state. While existing well digging works will be completed on priority, another new 100,000 new wells will be dug and 50,000 farm ponds will be created for irrigation," Fadnavis said.

The state has been reeling under natural disasters in recent times, creating problems of water supply for irrigation and drinking.

Last year, the state was lashed by unseasonal rains and hailstorms which damaged crops, while this year, there has been inadequate rainfall, which has destroyed fresh sowing and led to shortage of fodder for farm animals.

Faced with a drought-like situation, the state government has asked all district officials to take urgent remedial measures and provide relief to the masses, Fadnavis said.

Besides water supply measures, the state will launch the food security scheme in various parts of the state, restructure farm loans and strengthen health security under the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Yojana.

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