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Maha looks to bring sustainable water, irrigation practices

The Maharashtra government is considering to introduce sustainable water and irrigation practices by exploring the feasibility of reusing treated sewage water for peri-urban agriculture.

The state government has decided to make a district irrigation plan (DIP) to expand cultivable area under assured irrigation.

A meeting was held at National Water Academy at Pune this week which was addressed by Dinesh Kumar Jain, additional chief secretary of Agriculture department.

According to Jain, the Center’s Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY), will focus on increasing the percentage of irrigated land.

“We are focusing on completing major and minor irrigation projects including National projects. ‘Har Khet Ko Pani’ is the new concept where we will create new water sources including surface and ground water like in Jal Yukta Shivar,” Jain said.

He stressed on the need for new ways of irrigation practices, saying that there is already pressure on existing water resources.

Reviving traditional water conservation practices could be an option, he said.
Another official from irrigation department requesting anonymity said the state government has decided to promote rainwater harvesting.

“We will strengthen the carrying capacity of traditional water sources and will rejuvenate traditional water system like Jal Mandir of Gujarat, Khatri, Kuhl of Himachal Pradesh, Zabo (Nagaland), Eri, Ooranis (Tamilnadu), Dongs (Assam) and Katas, Bandhas of Odisha and MP respectively,” he said.

According to the official, the main objective of PMKSY is to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level, improve on farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water, enhance the adoption of precision irrigation and other water saving technologies (more crop per drop), enhance recharge of aquifiers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices by exploring the feasibility of reusing treated municipal based water for peril-urban agriculture.

Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan agreed that his department has taken a decision to prepare a District Irrigation Plan.

“We are in the process to prepare a basin and sub-basin level plan for irrigation projects. The comprehensive irrigation plan for Godavari basin is prepared and is open for public suggestions and objections,” he said.

He said the state has set a target to attract greater private investment in precision irrigation system.