Pune division seeks Rs 700 cr more from Centre

Drought
After the Sikka Committee took stock of the intense drought conditions in the district, Pune divisional commissionerate has sought as many as Rs 700 crore from the Centre to tackle the situation in the Pune division.

"We have already sent our proposal to the Centre. We have utilised Rs 400 crore to address the situation in the division and we need Rs 700 crore more. With the ground water level having gone down by 2-4 metres and the number of tankers at 1,100, we need the amount to tackle the situation for the next eight months," said Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh on Monday.

He said they would need the amount to complete the irrigation projects taken up in the district and the division. As per statistics provided by the divisional commissionerate, the division has around 27 irrigation projects. Some 75 per cent work is over for 14 projects and for the rest 13, 50 per cent work is done.

He said after the visit of the Sikka Committee, the commissionerate had pointed out separate measures to address the drought situation, especially in areas facing water scarcity. He said even as the sugar cultivation over the last 10 years in the division has gone up with the cultivation spread on 2.78 lakh hectares, the production has increased only by 4 tonnes.

The Sikka Committee had assessed drought-like conditions in Baramati, Indapur, Purandar and Daund taluks in the district, along with Satara and Sangli in the division. The committee comprising A K Sikka, B M Rampure, N D Singh and D Rath had discussed an action plan with DC Deshmukh, collector Vikas Deshmukh and agriculture and irrigation officials.

"There was both long-term and short-term measures for the division. We are hoping the same gets implemented with funds being sanctioned by the Centre,'' said officials. They said proposals regarding irrigation and agriculture were discussed for both the district and the division.

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