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Water Wars In Maharashtra...

farmers without irrigation have been committing suicide," says Vijay Jawandia. "Now irrigated farmers, too, will join them in taking their lives." Jawandia, a kisan leader of Maharashtra's Vidharbha region, says the recently passed Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Bill is "simply not workable." The Bill signals huge hikes in water charges and irrigation costs. The Regulatory Authority it sets up will have three full-time members. Not one of them is required to be a farmer.

Elected panchayats are sidelined on water issues. Farmers with more than two children will pay one and a half times the high new rates. And in some regions, costly drip and sprinkler irrigation will become mandatory. Breaking these laws invites six months in prison and a fine of ten times the annual water charges.
Farmers greeted news of the bill with shock and anger across Vidharbha. This is one of the least irrigated and most backward regions of Maharashtra. One that has seen hundreds of farmers' suicides in the past few years. In Parbhani, Marathwada, the State camp of the All-India Kisan Sabha called for the Bill's repeal. It also declared May 5 as a day of statewide protest to press this demand.

No farmer we spoke to in four districts across Vidharbha knew of the Bill. Much less that it had been passed by the legislature. Even Agriculture Department officials seemed baffled by it. "We cannot pay the present charges," says Vijay Kophe of Borgaon village in Amravati district. "How will we pay these new ones? Our water, their taxes?" Kophe owns a little over two acres and has three children.

Like most villages in Vidharbha, this one too, is in the grip of an agricultural crisis and deep in debt. "The village failed to pay electricity bills of about Rs. 1 lakh," says the sarpanch. "So the power was cut off, the pumps are down and we cannot get even drinking water."

"Why not fine the government," asks teacher R.M. Bhagywanth. "They have not paid cotton growers here dues of Rs.2,300 crores. How will people pay any bills without that? This law will push up suicides one hundred times."

B.T. Deshmukh, an independent member of the legislative council from Amravati, defends the law. He was on the Joint Committee of both houses to which the prickly Bill was referred. After making several changes - and bringing in the two-child norm - the committee approved it. "It has built-in safeguards and protection for poorer regions," he insists.

"New irrigation projects must first come in such places. The Governor's directives on these aspects must be observed." And, he points out, "we put in the `principle of equity' into the law."

General Greenhouse Management


Greenhouse Construction
Climate Control in GH Structures
Greenhouse Management: Soil Sterilization and preparation, cultural practices in flower and vegetable cultivation
Irrigation and Fertigation Technology
Crop Protection
Post Harvest and Marketing
Ergonomics

Marketing of Horticultural Produce

Importance and Scope
Post-Harvest and Handling
Marketing Channels
Domestic & Export Marketing : Potential Markets & Procedures
Logistics and Planning
Marketing of Allied Products

FUNDING SCHEMES

Bank of Maharashtra
Minor Irrigation for Agriculturists scheme for purchase of various irrigation equipments.
Mahabank Kisan Credit Card scheme for cultivation of crops, meeting the short-term credit needs of farmers.
Farm Mechanisation for Agriculturists scheme for Purchase of Tractors/Power tillers, Harvesters, Threshers & other farm
implements.
Animal Husbandry scheme for Purchase of animals, Poultry- Broiler Farm, Layers Farm, Hatchery Sheep/Goat Rearing Construction
of Byre, and Purchase of Machinery Working Capital Requirements under
Scheme for Cultivation of fruit crops-mango, Pomegranate, Grapes etc.
Scheme for providing finance to set up of Agri-Clinics/Agribusiness Centers.
Scheme for Financing Farmers for Purchase of Agricultural land.
Scheme for Financing Two Wheelers to Farmers
Scheme for Providing Loans to Farmers for Purchase of consumer durables
Scheme for Hi-tech projects in agriculture.
Rural Godown Scheme (Gramin Bhandaran Yojana) for scientific storage of agricultural produce.
Minor Irrigation for Agriculturists


Purpose :
Digging of new wells, revitalization of existing well, purchase of oil engine, electric motor, pump set installation of pipe line, sprinkler, irrigation, drip irrigation, tube well, bore well, etc.
Eligibility : Agriculturist who owns agricultural land.
Amount : For new dug wells as per the NABARD Unit costs for equipments/estimates.
Repayment : Depending upon the repaying capacity 7 to 11 years.
Security : Mortgage of land, Hypothecation of movable assets and guarantors.
Other Terms & Conditions :
Proposed well should be located in white watershed area. It should not be in dark watershed area.