Jalyukt Shivar

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The government in Maharashtra has undertaken an integrated water conservation and management initiative (Jalyukt Shivar) which aims to make 5,000 villages scarcity-free in the first phase in 2015-16.The ambitious programme, aimed at making the state scarcity-free in five years, will involve construction of a series of check dams, rejuvenation of old check dams and repair of Kolhapur Type (KT) weirs and storage tanks, Water Conservation department secretary Prabhakar Deshmukh told PTI.

The Jalyukt Shivar initiative will also involve repair of percolation tanks, desilting village percolation tanks and connecting stream/nullahs with water storage bodies.The project will first be implemented in 5,000 villages where water scarcity is most acute, he said, adding that the villages have been identified.

Prabhakar Deshmukh, as divisional commissioner of Pune, had earlier implemented a similar water conservation programme in five districts of Pune division which he claimed led to demand for water tankers in villages going down by 70 to 80 per cent and also resulted in water table going up.To counter the severe drought in 2012-13, the previous government had taken up construction of cement check dams, and deepening of local water sources in a big way.