Latching onto the CAG’s adverse remarks about the ‘Jalyukt Shivar’ scheme rolled out by the previous Devendra Fadnavis government, the ruling Shiv Sena on Thursday asked whether he will introspect now. The ‘Jalyukt Shivar’ scheme had little impact in achieving water neutrality and increasing groundwater level, and its execution was characterized by lack of transparency, the CAG said in its report tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
A sum of Rs 9,633.75 crore was spent on the scheme, a flagship program of the Fadnavis government (2014-19) that sought to make Maharashtra a drought-free state, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said. The now-scrapped project involved deepening and widening of streams, construction of cement and earthen stop dams, undertaking work on nullahs, and digging of farm ponds.
Referring to the findings, the Shiv Sena said any scheme is good on paper, but the real question is about its transparent and effective implementation. “When there is a problem (with such implementation of a scheme), then the rant about it (the scheme) turns out to be hollow and expenses superfluous,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“Precisely this is what happened in the case of Jalyukt Shivar scheme,” the Shiv Sena, which was part of the Fadnavis government, said. Had the implementation of the scheme been effective, water sufficiency would have been achieved in parts of the state in the real sense. But it did not happen, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.
“The real question is whether those who released high the balloon of the ‘Jalyukt (Shivar)’ will introspect now as to why it burst,” the party said, without naming Fadnavis. Experts had criticized the scheme during the previous regime. But Fadnavis and others dismissed the criticism terming it as political and wrong, it added.
“Now the CAG itself has put a question mark on the success of the scheme. What do those who tom-tommed about the scheme have to say about it now?” the Sena asked.