After controversy over credit claimed by the Maharashtra government for villages in Satara attaining self-sustainability through its water conservation programme, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis met Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, who has announced that he will hold Satyamev Jayate Water Cup activities in 75 tehsils in the state.
The actor’s Paani Foundation works for water conservation and helps villages in drought-prone tehsils achieve self-sustainability.
On its third anniversary of being in power in Maharashtra , the Fadnavis-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had claimed that Bidar village in Satara’s Maan tehsil became drought-free because of its Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan. Both the Opposition and villagers from Bidal raised questions over this claim, crediting Paani Foundation’s efforts for the village’s self-sufficiency. The government then clarified that the NGO works in association with the state government.
Against this backdrop, the CM held a video conference meeting with all district collectors on Wednesday, which was also attended by Khan. The actor announced that his NGO would implement the Water Cup competition in villages in 75 tehsils as against last year’s 30 tehsils. The actor requested the government to cooperate to make it a success.
“We have been getting good support from the government over the last two years. This year, the Foundation will showcase the results of our work,” Aamir said in the meeting.
Source : http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/aamir-khan-meets-devendra-fadnavis-will-launch-contest-in-75-towns-for-water-conservation/story-zJQcZesEKyJTFl4ssujhRO.html
He also said that the NGO wanted to improve soil health, increase green cover and implement water utilization plan in the villages that have become water neutral.
Fadnavis directed district officials at district level to assist the NGO and integrate government schemes with NGO’s plans. He appealed to sarpanchs to play a bigger role in the campaign.
Government officials said that the controversy was uncalled for as the government had been working with Paani Foundation since its inception two years ago. “Besides that, we have spent Rs 38.12 lakh on farm ponds, recharging of rivers, deep CCTs (continuous counter trenching), desilting and other works related to water conservation. It was unfair to say that government was claiming credit without doing anything,” an official said on the condition of annuity.