Government plans to link Bhima and Manjara rivers in Maharashtra to tackle water crisis situation in drought-hit Marathwada region of the state in the long-run, Rajya Sabha was informed today.
Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat said this in response to queries on the action the Centre is taking to figure long-term solutions for water shortage in Marathwada and Bundelkhand regions.
“The long-term measures in Marathawada, inter alia, include interlinking of Bhima and Manjara rivers,” he said.
Jat said, as part of the government’s efforts, the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has prioritised Bundelkhand and parts of Marathwada for aquifer mapping and management program “in order to delineate aquifer disposition and their charecterisation along with quantification and for preparation of aquifer/area specific ground water management plans”.
The minister also said the CGWB had in 2013 prepared a conceptual document titled ‘Master Plan for Artificial Recharge to Ground Water in India’ which envisages construction of different types of artificial recharge and rainwater harvesting structures in the country including the two drought-hit regions.
Jat said, the government has deputed technical teams comprising officers of Central Water Commission (CWC) and CGWB for on the spot study of water situation and interaction with the state governments.
Asked whether water level in the two regions have plunged to 500 ft below ground-level, Jat differed, saying the deepest ground water level recorded in Marathwada region is 45.62 m (140 ft), while that in Bundelkhand is 49.4 m – both according to a January 2016 assessment.
Responding to another question, he said four major dams monitored by CWC, namely Jayakwadi, Bhima, Yeldari and Girna, have reported zero water stock level as per the latest bulletin for week ending on April 21.