Mumbai: The Maharashtra Cabinet approved a proposal on Wednesday to borrow a long-term loan of Rs 15,000 crore to complete 52 ongoing irrigation projects.
The decision will facilitate completion of ongoing works within three years, which will create 28.70 lakh hectares of additional irrigation capacity. The state government has not yet decided the agency from which they will borrow the amount.
At present, there are 313 under-construction irrigation projects and around Rs 83,300 crore have been spent on them so far. The remainder work on these projects requires an additional Rs 93,570 crore.
The break-up of the 52 projects selected for this loan scheme are as follows: 16 from Vidarbha, 7 from Marathwada and 29 from the rest of Maharashtra. The projects in Vidarbha will get Rs 3,847.59 crore, while Marathwada projects will get Rs 3,380.89 crore and Rs 7,771.52 cr has been earmarked for projects in rest of Maharashtra.
The state government allots Rs 10,000 cr every year to the water resources department and the attempt is to raise funds from other sources, including assistance from the central government and loans through NABARD, to complete the projects.
Apart from these 52 projects, 26 ongoing irrigation projects have already been selected under the Prime Minister's Irrigation Scheme. Rs 19,251 cr has been sanctioned for these projects as a long-term loan from NABARD at an interest of six per cent and Rs 3,147 crore as funding from the central government. This will create an additional 5.56 lakh hectare irrigation capacity. Ninety-one projects from the 14 farmer-suicide-affected districts in Vidarbha and Marathwada and from drought-affected areas in the rest of the state have been selected under the Maharashtra government’s special scheme - Baliraja Sanjivani.
NABARD will provide Rs 10,925 crore in funds and the central government has already approved Rs. 3,831 crore as central assistance.