The Maharashtra government is mulling to develop a state-wide water supply grid, on the lines of Gujarat, to tide over the problem of its scarcity and for equitable distribution of water.
“In the first phase, the parched Marathwada region will be supplied water through the grid network, to give an impetus to farming and industrial growth in the region,” Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said.
“We had recently visited Gujarat to study their water grid network. Marathwada region of Maharashtra has been facing water scarcity since a long time. Now that affects farming and industries as well. Adding to the woes, rain water does not get accumulated underground and goes into the sea,” he said.
There are five river basins in the state through which water will be supplied to different regions, the minister said.
“There are some places, like Konkan region, that receive good rainfall. But there are no measures in place to harvest rain water. Once we put the grid system in place, water will be evenly supplied across the state,” he said.
Mungantiwar said that Marathwada region will be supplied water through Godavari river basin.
“Gujarat developed a water supply grid at a cost of Rs. 7,000 crore. Ever since the system was put in place in the neighbouring state, 3.90 crore people have able to use water of the Narmada river. Earlier, there were places where 7,000 water tankers were required for sustenance. The number has come down to just 100 tankers,” he added.
“We dream of having a Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. We have decreased the tariff of electricity for industries in Marathwada region and providing benefits to farmers. But there is simply no water! We will be able to put our development plan in place and provide water for farming once we have the grid system in place,” Mungantiwar said.
He added that the first meeting with experts took place today in this regard and the intricacies would soon be discussed.