To ensure completion of various schemes in villages across Maharashtra, the State Water Conservation Department has announced the allocation of a budget of Rs 2 crore per village annually for water conservation under the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS).
The announcement was made by Mr. Prabhakar Deshmukh, Secretary for Department of Water Conservation during his interaction with the Sarpanches of different villages in State on ‘Water Conservancy for Drought-Eradication’ on the occasion of the Agrowon’s Sarpanch Mahaparishad held in Shirdi.
Agrowon is the country’s first agro daily published by the Sakal Media Group.
Mr. Deshmukh also announced that the villages which utilise these funds as per various provisions of the budget will be honoured by Mr. Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra. The Sarpanches of villages across the State welcomed this announcement.
“The Water Conservation Department is planning to provide Rs 2 crore to each village. The village Sarpanch must decide how to utilise the funds judiciously. If work is done well, the Sarpanches can also make use of the platform of employment guarantee. The work to clean villages and make them prosperous can be done under the EGS. Even the work of garbage collection can be done through this scheme. The Tamil Nadu government has prepared a scheme for this, which we are studying. Water conservation and agricultural works can thus be undertaken successfully,” he said.
Mr. Popatrao Pawar, organiser of Adarsh Gram Yojana, also addressed the Sarpanches during the valedictory function of the Sarpanch Mahaparishad on Saturday. He urged Sarpanches to identify the needs of their villages.
He said, “You have got a great opportunity to develop your village under the 14th Finance Commission. For this development, prepare a five-year plan for your village. Join it with MNREGA, Jalyukta Shivar, and CSR funds. Villages are going to get additional 10 percent incentive for quality work. Undertake work yourself instead of depending on the administration. For this, identify the needs of your village,” Mr. Pawar added.
The Sarpanch Mahaparishad was inaugurated by Mr. Devendra Fadnavis. He also applauded the numerous initiatives undertaken by the Sakal Media Group, Delivering Change Foundation and Agrowon like drought-eradication, farmer-centric development and others.
Mr. Fadnavis said ,“The government and its resources will support such initiatives. Agrowon is truly a friend to the farmers. It is implementing extremely necessary initiatives for them. As long as the villages change, a strong India cannot be created. I congratulate Shri. Prataprao Pawar and Mr. Abhijit Pawar for their efforts in bringing about necessary change at the grassroots levels.”
While speaking at the event, Mr. Prataprao Pawar, Chairman of the Sakal Media Group said, “ Though agriculture is a business, numerous farmers are not aware of the financial aspects of this business. There is a need to incur minimum expenditure while providing a good quality crop. Under the Smart Village initiative, a team of Israeli experts toured various villages. It was found that the rural women are smarter than men but both are not aware of financial aspects of agriculture. There is a need to learn from businessmen who have sustained in the global agro market,” he said,
Among the others present at the event were Ms. Pankaja Munde, State Rural Development Minister, Mr. Ram Shinde, Minister of State for Home, Mr. Abhay Firodia, Chairman of Force Motors, Mr. Shriram Pawar, Editor-in-Chief of the Sakal Media Group, Mr. Adinath Chavan, Editor, Agrowon amongst others.