Over 1,700 small dams in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra are lying under utilized in absence of sanction of Rs 171 crore fund earmarked towards the repair works, an RTI query has revealed.
According to reply to a query filed by RTI activist Anil Galgali, as many as 1,735 small dams Beed, Jalna and Aurangabad districts of Marathwada are lying underutilized.
Galgali had filed a query with the Rural Development and Water conservation department on September 1, this year, seeking information about the repairs to the small dams (based on Kolhapur pattern), between February, 2014 and January,2015, period.
As per the reply furnished by the department, the Chief Engineers office, Pune, demanded exactly Rs 170,57,77,000 for 1,735 small dams situated in Beed, Jalna and Aurangabad, which currently holds a potential of irrigating 25,128 hectares land.
If these dams under the Mini Irrigation (Water Conservation) project are repaired and maintained, it will increase the potential of irrigation by 17,543 hectares, taking it to 42,671 hectares, Galgali said, quoting the reply.
Beed district has 575 mini irrigation (water conservation) projects in need of urgent repairs and maintenance, if undertaken and completed, the irrigation potential will be increased by 43 per cent (4119 hectares) against the current 9,661 hectares.
Similarly, Jalna district has 414 mini irrigation projects with a current potential of 4,475 hectares, with repairs, it is estimated to increase the potential by 2,527 hectares.
Aurangabad has 746 similar projects and repair works can increase its potential to irrigate land by 10897 hectares, which is currently at 28,535 hectares.