Union water resources minister Uma Bharti and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari will interact with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Maharashtra water resources minister Girish Mahajan on May 3 to draft a plan for completion of 26 “priority” irrigation projects to tackle the drought.
Mahajan has roped in all Union ministers from Maharashtra-Suresh Prabhu, Prakash Javadekar, Anant Geete, Piyush Goyal and Hansraj Ahir-for their assistance in securing financial assistance from the Centre.
“The 26 projects have been placed in three categories. Seven projects in the first category will be completed before 2017-18, 13 projects in the second and six projects in the third category will be completed before 2019-20. We have drafted a schedule for completion of these projects in a phased manner,” Mahajan said.
Mahajan said the realistic cost of completion stood at Rs 36,299 crore. “We have limited resources. In view of the enhanced cost of land acquisition, we have asked the Centre to provide us a loan either from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development or the World Bank for early completion of the projects. Once these projects are completed, an estimated eight lakh hectares of land will be irrigated,” he said.