Mumbai: 480-km tunnel to link two Vidarbha rivers

Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has resolved to make Maharashtra drought-free by interlinking Wainganga and Nalganga rivers in Vidarbha; besides, excess rain water in eastern Vidarbha will be diverted to western Vidarbha.

He also spoke about building a 480km-long tunnel to stop additional water from flowing to Telangana and, instead, diverting it to meet the needs of western parts of Vidarbha.

Fadnavis laid down the road map while speaking at the 73rd Independence Day celebrations in Mantralaya. Fadnavis has been pushing the Wainganga-Nalganga project ever since he assumed office.

This project recently got a green signal from the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) and will divert 1,900 TMC water from the Gosikhurd dam to the Nalganga river, also referred to as Purna and Tapi in west Vidarbha.

As per the proposal before the NWDA, a link canal of the Wainganga-Nalganga project will take off from the right flank of the Gosikhurd dam and traverse a length of 478.2 km through Bhandara, Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Akola and Buldana districts.

The link envisages bringing 413,750 hectares of cultivable command area under irrigation. Besides, it is also proposed to cater to the future municipal and industrial water requirements in the command area and the city of Nagpur.

By 2050, about 22 lakh humans and industrial water requirement are proposed to be served. In 2007-08, the cost of the project was estimated at Rs 8,294.26 crore.

According to the CM, 167 TMC water from Konkan will be diverted to the Godavari river basin to lessen the drought in Marathwada and north Maharashtra.

Similarly, irrigation projects in drought-prone areas of Western Maharashtra will be expeditiously completed with the Central government assistance, he added.

Rehabilitation of flood-hit in record time "I would like to assure the people who lost their homes and livelihood in the floods that the government will strive to ensure that they are rehabilitated in record time," Fadnavis said.

Highlighting his government's performance over the last five years, Fadnavis said sincere efforts have been made to make a positive change in the lives of citizens, across sections of society.