Mumbai: Union minister Nitin Gadkari, on Friday, announced that the first two major projects to connect rivers will kick off in next three months and will be completed by 2019. This will increase the irrigation up to 40 per cent from 22 per cent.
Gadkari said this process will start in the next three months.
“There will be Par-Tapi-Narmada project and Damnganga-Pinjal projects, which are a part of the Pantpradhan Sinchai Project (Prime Minister irrigation project),” said Gadkari.
“I have decided to start big river connectivity projects in Maharashtra, costing Rs 30,000 crore, within three months. I have got an opportunity to fulfil the dream of Vajpayeeji,” he added.
According to the minister, these projects will be financed by the Central government and the State will have to contribute one per cent of the project cost. “Par-Tapi-Narmada project will connect the river from Gujarat and Maharashtra. The cost of the project is about Rs 20,000 crore. This project will increase irrigation in the Dhule, Nashik, Malegaon and Vapi districts,” Gadkari said.
“If the irrigation touches the 50 per cent mark, then people will not migrate to metro cities and our rural economy will get a boost,” he said.
“Next week, there will be a two party agreement between Maharashtra and Gujarat for the project, which will decide the water share or water distribution plan of these states,” Gadkari added.
“Damangang-Pinjal project is also starting in next few days, where Maharashtra will get 50 TMC more water,” Gadkari said.
The Central government is going to provide about Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 60,000 crore to the State for various projects. “I will speed up all the delayed projects in next few months including roads and the dams. The government wants to spend Rs 80,000 crore in five years for irrigation,” Gadkari informed.
‘There is no proper water distribution and irrigation, due to which, most of the water from the river valley flows unused. The government is facing a loss of about Rs 70,000 crore per year due to this. If there is proper channel to connect the rivers and shift the water from one river to another river or valley, it would save the government funds,” he said.
Road projects in state
The Pune-Satara national highway will be completed by December, 2017. After its completion, the Satara-Kolhapur highway will be widened to 6 lanes. The government has a plan to construct 20,000 kilometre of national highway network, out of which 5,000 is about to be completed and Pune-Satara stretch is part of it. The government has already planned all the highways and the procedure of land aquisition, detailed project reports are ready.