A day after walking out of the Legislative assembly Maharashtra Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday, dared the Uddhav Thackeray-led government to investigate him rather than his government's projects, at a BJP rally opposing MVA's farm loan waiver. Lamenting over the stalling of his pet-project Jalyukt Shivar irrigation scheme, Fadnavis said that the project had transformed drought-hit Marathwada. Referring to the stalled Metro car shed work, he said that the Thackeray government has stalled it inspite of a Shiv Sena-led committee green lighting it.
"They want to probe us and our projects. I am telling them to investigate against us and I will provide whatever needed," he dared at the rally held in Mumbai's Azad maidan. Police have put the city on high-alert restraining all protests except ones in Azad Maidan amid the Delhi violence which has killed 7 people, including a head constable.
He added, "They have stalled all our projects. The irrigation projects would have benefitted drought-prone regions but now all these projects are stalled. They say the 'Jal Yukta Shivar irrigation project is faulty'. This is the only project which transformed Marathawada. This govt just wants to negate the work that we have done."
This comment comes amid reports of Latur facing a water crisis despite a healthy monsoon in 2019. Officials have stated that supply to home taps was now once in 15 days due to disconnection because of non-payment of bills. Moreover, the State Water Resources Department (WRD) has stated that Latur and Osmanabad will have to rely on medium or small irrigation projects which currently hold only about 40% live storage, as per reports.
While the State government claims that the project has not been scrapped, the first phase of the scheme which ended on December 31, 2019, has not extended, as per irrigation officials. The Jalyukt Shivar set an ambitious target of making 5,000 drought-prone villages free of water scarcity by 2019. Under this scheme, various water conservation initiatives such as the construction of farm ponds, rejuvenation of water storage capacity, building decentralised water bodies and so forth were undertaken. The project along with several other Fadnavis government projects like Mumbai Metro 3 car shed, Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train to name a few are currently under probe.