TNN | Mar 6, 2016, 03.06 AM IST
Nagpur: The state government will observe 'Jal jagruti saptah' (water awareness week) from March 16 to 22 across Maharashtra as part of its intensive efforts to fight drought conditions and severe water shortage.
Most of Marathwada, parts of Western Maharashtra and Vidarbha have received deficient rains this monsoon. This is second consecutive drought year and water levels are abysmally low in reservoirs.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will launch the water conservation week.
A government resolution issued on February 17 has given a detailed plan to be followed in every district for water week involving the district administration, social and non-government organizations. The idea is to reach out to people at large and spread the message using water with care and avoid wastages so that the water reserves available last till the onset of next rains.
The state water resources department has planned the weeklong campaign which will have events like plays, poetry recital, school students' visits to dams and contests for college students and 'water run' in every district.
Led by the chief minister, the entire cabinet of ministers are touring drought-affected areas. Each minister has been asked to visit one taluka. During such visits in Marathwada on Friday, the ministers have instructed tehsildars to visit a village every day and spend two hours there boosting morale of villagers. "The government wants to send a clear signal that it is with farmers and drought-hit people at the time of crisis," said a BJP MLA.
Meanwhile, Fadnavis has indicated that his government would intensify the Jalyukta Shivar, scheme for water conservation at village level. He said people are participating in the scheme and have donated 350 cr while the government has till date spent 3,000 cr to conserve rain water. Old water bodies, rivulets and nullahs are being revived by deepening them, creating check dams so as to block rain water to increase availability making 5,000 villages drought-free each year.