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Watershed work hit due to politics: Maha CM

Press Trust of India  |  Pune 

Development works like watershed programmes got affected in over years due to the divisions created through political affinity, caste and religion in villages, Minister said here today.

He lamented that the watershed work fell prey to petty politics.

was speaking at an event in Pune in to distribute "Water Cup 2018" awards instituted by Aamir Khan's Paani Foundation, which is doing watershed works in villages.

Fadanvis was replying to a question raised by Navnirman Sena (MNS) during his speech at the event.

Raising concerns over "failure" of watershed programmes in Maharashtra, Thackeray questioned the allocation of funds to the sector between 1960 and 2018.

The minister said the divisions created along the lines of castes and religion had affected the watershed works at the village level.

"Years ago, we had given a slogan 'pani adva, pani jirva' (water conservation), but all these years, divisions were created through small groups, political parties, castes and religions..Due to this division, we forgot the watershed movement and got ourselves busy in settling the scores against each other," he said.

appreciated the 'Paani Foundation' for its work.

"The realised that villages cannot be made water-sufficient unless all the castes and communities are united," he said.

Fadnavis said the government alone cannot run watershed programmes. "People's movement is the key to success for such works," he added.

"works in 75 talukas in Maharashtra, which is the example of how a peoples' movement can bring about the change and make the villages water-sufficient," he said.

The appealed to take the watershed movement to 100 talukas in the state.

He said water has to be used judiciously, or else drought is inevitable.

is a not-for-profit company set up in 2016 by the team of the TV series to fight drought in rural Maharashtra.

It was founded by and his wife

Paani Foundation conducts a competition called the 'Water Cup', in which villages compete to win prizes for the best watershed management work.

Political leaders cutting across the party lines attended the award distribution ceremony.

Besides Satyajit Bhatkal, state unit chief Ashok Chavan, Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Ajit Pawar, state ministers and were present at the occasion.

In its third edition, the saw participation of 75 talukas where capacity to store 22,269 crore litre of water was stored through rainwater harvesting works done over a period of 45 days.

said the foundation has successfully increased the water table level in villages.

He said emphasis should be given to the correct crop pattern keeping the availability of water in mind.

Pawar, nephew of Sharad Pawar, advised Khan not to share any political dais.

The first prize of Rs 75 lakh and a trophy for the competition was won by Takewadi (Andhali) village in district.

Bhandwali and Sindkhed villages in and Buldhana districts jointly won the second prize of Rs 50 lakh and a trophy.

The third prize went to Anandwadi and Umtha villages in and districts. It contains a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh each and a trophy.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, August 12 2018. 22:50 IST