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Former Cong minister opposes water release into Jayakwadi dam


Mumbai, Dec 8 (PTI) Former Maharashtra minister Balasaheb Thorat today opposed release of water from reservoirs in Ahmednagar and Nashik districts into the Jayakwadi dam in Marathwada region.

“We feel that water from western Maharashtra and Konkan should be diverted to Jayakwadi to resolve the scarcity problem, instead of depriving people from Ahmednagar and Nashik districts of their share,” Thorat, who hails from Ahmednagar, told reporters here.

“Depriving people of water is not okay. The decision to release water despite availability is unjust. The water in Jayakwadi, if used judiciously, can fulfill needs of people there,” the Congress leader said.

“That is why we are seeking justice from the High Court,” Thorat said.

Meanwhile, farmers today staged a rasta-roko in Ahmednagar district to oppose the decision to release water to Jayakwadi dam.

In a measure expected to bring some relief to the parched districts of Marathwada region, the government had on Saturday ordered 7.89 thousand million cubic feet (tmc) water release from upstream reservoirs into the Jayakwadi dam.

It had directed release of water into the Jayakwadi dam (built to address the irrigation and drinking water woes of Marathwada) from the Nilwande and Bhandardara (4.3 tmc) and Mula (3.59 tmc) reservoirs upstream.

“We have asked Ahmednagar SP to provide police protection at these reservoirs, after which we will start releasing water to Jayakwadi,” Executive Director of Godavari Marathwada Irrigation Development Corporation, C A Birajdar told.

The water release is expected to meet the drinking and agriculture needs of Aurangabad and Jalna townships and villages in the districts.

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