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Centre to assist Maharashtra in irrigation projects

New Delhi : The Centre has approved financial assistance to Maharashtra for completion of eight major and medium and 83 minor irrigation projects in drought-prone areas of the state.

The approval for the Central assistance was given by the Expenditure Finance Committee of Union Finance Ministry for projects in Vidarbha and Marathwada and other drought-prone areas of the state.

The projects are expected to help in addressing agrarian distress by creation of additional irrigation potential of 3.77 lakh hectare.

The estimated balance cost of these projects is Rs 13651.61 crore.

The Maharashtra Government can being in its share through a NABARD loan. The SMI projects are expected to be completed in two years time and major and medium projects would be completed in phases by 2022-23.

Recently, the State Government had given approval to a Rs 33000 crore package for incomplete irrigation projects. It had approved a cost escalation of Rs 33000 crore and given revised administrative approvals to 205 incomplete irrigation projects.

Maharashtra Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan said all these projects had been pending for the last several years and had seen cost escalations.

"There are in all 307 such pending projects of which 205 has been given revised approvals by us and we are prioritising their completion," said Mahajan, adding that the remaining projects will take the cost escalation to Rs 40000 crore.

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