The number of water tankers operational in the state has increased in comparison to last year.
Mumbai: Although chief minister Devendra Fadnavis only last month announced that the government would achieve a drought-free Maharashtra in two years, along with his earlier reference to completion of the Jalyukta Shivar in over 12,000 villages, the number of water tankers operational in the state has increased in comparison to last year. Currently, 1,164 tankers are providing water to 1,059 villages and 594 wadis while last year, only 998 tankers were operational.
When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power in 2014, Mr Fadnavis declared the Jalyukta Shivar scheme where 14 state and Union government-funded schemes would be converged.
The government set a target for completion of the Jalyukta Shivar works in at least 5,000 villages per year. The government spent more than Rs 30,000 crore on the Jalyukta Shivar scheme and various irrigation and other works in the past three to four years.
Recently, Mr Fadnavis declared that the state would be drought-free within two years. Notwithstanding, the number of tankers across the state is increasing day by day as the summer intensifies and mercury levels shoot higher. Reason being thousands of villages do not have drinking water. As per information given by the aid and rehabilitation department, 1164 tankers are providing water this year as compared to last year’s 998 tankers. This year, 646 tankers have been provided in Marathwada and 202 in the Amaravati division.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik slammed the government over the issue and demanded an inquiry into the output of the Jalyukta Shivar works. The government undertook the works without proper studies which resulted in failure in some areas. The reality on ground was different from the claims made by Mr Fadnavis, he said. He questioned as to how Mr Fadnavis would achieve the target of a drought-free Maharashtra.