State gets Rs 574 cr for drinking water

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TNN | Mar 18, 2013, 02.15 AM IST

PUNE: The state has received Rs 574 crore from the Centre as part of the Rs 1,207 crore drought-relief package declared in early March. The amount will be utilized for supplying drinking water to affected villages besides aiding completion of pending water supply schemes projects.

The funds have been transferred to the state water supply and sanitary department for disbursement, said a senior state revenue department official.

Following the uneven distribution of rainfall in 2011 and 2012, the state is facing severe water scarcity in western Maharashtra, Marathwada and parts of northern Maharashtra and Vidarbha. In many towns and villages, Due to shortage of funds, drinking-water supply schemes for drinking water are lying incomplete in several towns and villages.

In February, the state government had submitted a proposal to the Union government seeking financial assistance of Rs 1,801 crore following failure of the rabi crop. A central team visited affected areas of the state in February after which it sanctioned Rs 1,207 crore. A part of this allocation was received recently and utilized for completing water supply schemes and providing tankers to villages.

"The recent allotment will be utilized for lift irrigation schemes at Takari, Tembhu, Mhaisal in Sangli, Janai-Shirsai in Purandar taluka of Pune, Urmodi in Satara and Muktainagar in Jalgaon. Besides, a part of the allotment will be used to pay 67% of the electricity bills of village-dedicated water supply schemes," said the official.

Meanwhile, the number of fodder camps across the state has been increased from 443 to 553. Ahmednagar district has the maximum number of camps (231) followed by Solapur (126).

The scarcity in the state has also reduced brought down the sowing and production of jowar crop which is a a major source of fodder to cattle.With low production of jowar, dry fodder is also not available in sufficient quantity. To save the cattle, The state government has also set up fodder camps in various locations where the cattle will be provided with fodder and water at the expense of state government.With an expense of Rs 749.29 crore, There are 553 of such fodder camps have been established by the state government since November 2012. The fodder camps have been providing for fodder and water to 4.52 lakh buffaloes, cows and bulls in the state where The government has spent on