The project is estimated to cost around Rs 10,000 cr to construct water grid. Mekorot's Indian representative, Romiel Samuel, said the project will provide water to 30-million population once it is completed
Maharashtra's drought-affected Marathwada region can now hope for a resolution to their water-scarcity problem, thanks to Israeli water technology. Israel's national water distribution company will launch a joint project with Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP) to create a water grid for the water-starved Marathwada region.
The development comes after Mekorot, the National Water Carrier of Israel, and Maharashtra government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Mumbai last year.
According to a report, the project is estimated to cost around Rs 10,000 crore to construct a water grid. According to Mekorot's Indian representative, Romiel Samuel, the project will provide water to the region's 30-million-strong population by 2050 once the project is completed. The initiative is said to be Israel's largest non-defence projects in India.
Israel's Consul General in Mumbai, Yaakov Finkelstein, said though Maharashtra government had a plan to create a water grid, it lacked the know-how to execute it.
"The Israeli Ambassador Daniel Carmon then asked the Consul General's office in Mumbai to put Mekorot in touch with the Maharashtra authorities. We are humbled that the government chose us as a partner for this crucial project," Finkelstein told Mid Day.
Year after year, the Marathwada region has mostly received less rainfall leading to farmer distress and crop failures. The region comprises eight districts including Aurangabad, Beed, Latur, Osmanabad, Parbhani, Jalna, Nanded and Hingoli. These districts have around 12,978 villages.
In the summer in 2016, over 4,000 water tankers had to be deployed in the villages when the water crisis worsened in the Marathwada region.
The Israeli company plans to connect the northern and southern parts of Marathwada with the help of a water grid. The northern region receives good rains, while there is a dearth of water in the southern districts.
In February, the Maharashtra government has passed a master plan envisaged by the Mekorot. For the past eight months, a team of Israeli engineers has been conducting a survey of the region to study the rainfall pattern before coming up with a looped water grid.
According to the report, the looped water grid can work both in reverse and forward direction. If there is a problem in the looped system, the water can be distributed through different paths, unlike the non-looped system where the system shuts down completely.
At least 11 dams, including Manjara, Siddheshwar, Yeldari, Lower Dudhna, Vishnupuri, Majalgaon, Lower Manar, Upper Painganga, Sina Kolegaon, Jayakwadi, and Lower Terna, will be interlinked as part of the water grid plan.
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