PUNE: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said the state government was consulting experts to ascertain if the former BJP government's Jalyukta Shivar programme in the state had caused flooding in Marathwada.
Pawar was speaking to the media after a COVID-19 review meeting here.
The deputy chief minister was asked about reports on experts claiming that the flooding in Marathwada were a fall out of the Jalyukta Shivar programme.
The Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan, a pet project of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, was launched in 2014, and involved deepening and widening of streams, construction of cement and earthen stop dams, work on nullahs and digging of farm ponds.
"The work done under Jalyukta Shivar may have resulted in clogging of pipes under various bridges, causing inundation in parts of Marathwada.
"But before jumping into any conclusions, we want confirmation from experts, and based on what they say, we will decide our next move," Pawar said.
The NCP leader further said that after the CAG raised concerns about the programme, the Anti-Corruption Bureau had also initiated an inquiry earlier.
The state government has decided that henceforth, instead of pipes, box-like structures will be set up under the bridges, he said.
"These box-like structures will facilitate smooth flow of water despite presence of mud, branches etc, and prevent flooding," he said.
Talking about the compensation for farmers from flood-affected areas, Pawar said, "Nanded, Osmanabad, Latur, Hingoli, Beed and even some tehsils of Jalgaon district have been affected by the recent rainfall.
"Insurance companies have also been instructed about compensation. We are assessing the damages and will take a call on the compensation accordingly."
The state government also wants to provide immediate relief to the affected persons without waiting for panchnamas, he said.