National Institution of Transforming India (NITI) Aayog is all set to formulate a national policy on the Buldana pattern of water conservation. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, has urged to adopt it for the state. In his letter, he mentioned that synchronization of national highway construction and water conservation was achieved for the first time in Buldana district by using rivers, nallas, and rivers. It led to an increase in water storage capacity across the water bodies in Buldhana district and hence named ‘Buldana pattern’.
He said that, With this activity in Maharashtra, 225 lakh cubic meter of soil was used in National Highway construction, and the resultant widening/deepening resulted in an increase of 22,500 Thousand Cubic Metre (TMC) of water storage capacity with no cost to state government.
Talking more about water conservation projects, he also highlighted the Tamswada Pattern adopted in the Nagpur and Wardha district. It helped increase the water storage capacity of natural water bodies situated in two Eastern and Vidarbha districts by rainwater harvesting, conservation, and groundwater recharge. The project was initially implemented in 60 villages in Nagpur and Wardha districts, while 40 villages have already completed the project.
Gadkari had earlier requested the Maharashtra government to take the initiative to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on the lines of National Power Grid or the Highway Grid, looking at the recurring floods crisis in Mumbai. It is required to address the issue of excess water diversion into water-deficient regions.
According to Gadkari, the policy under the State Water Grid will provide relief to areas with water shortage areas and increase irrigation that will result in good economic conditions for farmers. He also stressed other benefits such as transportation of goods and passengers through rivers in the near future, growth of fishing and other businesses, generation of employment opportunities if such projects are categorized under essential infrastructure.