Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday said a white paper on the irrigation situation in the state would be published within 15 days.
    
Talking to reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting, Chavan said though the issue of white paper was not on the agenda, it was discussed briefly. He declined to elaborate, only saying that the public needed to be informed about the status of irrigation.
    
Chavan had earlier said that his decision to publish the white paper on irrigation was not politically motivated. The decision had created some ripples as the irrigation portfolio has always been with NCP since 1999.
    
Some commentators interpreted it as a move against the Sharad Pawar-led party.
    
The Chief Minister also said that Rs 10 crore each had been sanctioned for 15 talukas for long-term drought relief measures such as cement dams. The talukas were selected as per the water levels after the last year's monsoon. In these talukas, the levels had gone down by more than three meters.
    
These talukas are Sangamner, Jat, Palus, Khatav, Maan, Mangalvedha, Parner, Bhoom, Purandar, Atpadi, Kavte Mahankal, Khanapur, Miraj, Tasgaon and Sangole.
    
Construction of small cement dams to store rain water had been taken up on pilot basis in Maan taluka. Gujarat had 1.5 lakh such structures, Chavan said.

(Agencies)

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