Maharashtra could become a drought-free State by 2019 with the Government kick-starting a new programme called ‘Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan’.

“This Abhiyan aims at initiating permanent measures to make the state drought-free by 2019 and to harvest rainwater within the village boundaries, thereby increasing ground water levels,” Governor C Vidyasagar Rao said while addressing a joint session of Maharashtra legislature at Vidhan Bhavan.

“Micro-irrigation systems would be promoted for efficient use of water, thereby increasing the irrigated area. An ambitious target has been set to make 5,000 villages free of water scarcity every year,” the Governor added.

The Maharashtra government also plans to install a tracking system in private taxis and reserve front seats in share taxis for women to ensure their safety.

GPRS system for cabs

“It is proposed that a GPRS-based system will be installed in Meru and other private taxis and the front seats reserved in share taxis in Mumbai for women,” Governor Rao said.

“As part of a major initiative to have CCTV-based surveillance system for better security environment in major cities of the state, the government has started setting up of the system for Mumbai. This is expected to be completed within 90 weeks. The project has been already implemented in Pune,” he said.

Wells, toilets

The Governor also said the government will construct 1.41 million toilets in rural areas in the current fiscal under the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’. Another 800,000 toilets will be provided to households in urban areas of the state.

“Under the MGNREG scheme, construction of 44,000 wells will be completed within two years and more work related to roads will be undertaken through the employment guarantee scheme,” Rao said.

“The government is also committed to expediting the work on the Navi Mumbai International Airport project. Due to comprehensive rehabilitation policy of the government, consent letters from the project affected persons for land acquisitions have been received by CIDCO (the implementing agency).

“Majority of the clearances required for the project have been received. The government has decided to build a new city called NAINA in an area of 600 sq km, around the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport,” he said.