2nd Maharashtra Water and Irrigation Commission

  • Appointed as Member of Second Water Management Committee by Government of Maharashtra under the Chairmanship of Dr. Madhavrao Chitale. This committee was constituted by then Chief Minister Shri. Manohar Joshi.
  • Important and memorable contribution in the field of water management & suggested directions in order to save water resources and water conservation.
  • Motivated masses for plans 1 & 2 of Ranwad Cooperative Lift Irrigation during his tenure as President.
  • Under K.K.Wagh Sugar Factory, the Lift Irrigation plan at Ranwad, Redgaon, Nimgaon & Nandur-Khurd was successfully completed

Considering the in depth knowledge in the fields of water resources, irrigation and cooperative movement, Government of Maharashtra and Hon. Chief Minister has included the name of Balashab Wagh in this commission as a member. This was an honour for the state to have a grass root level and well-studied member in the commission.

Contribution of BalasahebWagh in Community Projects / Social Service through the platform of Maharashtra Water and Irrigation Commission MWIC

Subsequent to the formation of the Maharashtra State, the First Irrigation Commission had been constituted in 1960 under the Chairmanship of late S. G. Barve for undertaking study of various issues pertinent to irrigation development and suggesting long term policy of irrigation vis-a-vis the working methodology. The Commission reported to the Government in 1962.

Enormous growths in population during the intervening period, changing standard of living and the industrialisation have led to increase the overall demand for water. Water for domestic consumption, industrial use and hydroelectric generation is required to be reserved. The all-out demand for water had made it imperative to prioritise requirements for diverse purposes such as domestic use, irrigation, industrialisation etc. Health and environment-consciousness have led to heightened expectations about the quality of water and attested its importance in the water management. Growing awareness regarding development of various regions of Maharashtra vis-a-vis issues pertinent to imbalance and backlog in development, relentless and uncontrolled draft of groundwater increased with the pace of development, pollution of water sources as a result of municipal and industrial use culminating into pollution of both surface and sub-surface reservoirs are some of the newly emerging issues which are assuming a serious proportion rendering the management of water resources development increasingly difficult and complex.

Based on this premise and in view of the changed scenario, the Government of Maharashtra constituted the ‘Maharashtra Water and Irrigation Commission’ in December 1995 in order to undertake an upto date study of issues pertinent to irrigation and water resources development in the State and to report the Government. The transactions of the Commission commenced formally in January ,1996.

Government of Maharashtra constituted the commission under leadership of Dr.Madhvrao Chitale, the stalwart in the field of Water resources and the Stockholm Water Awardee.

Considering the in depth knowledge in the fields of water resources, irrigation and cooperative movement, Government of Maharashtra and Hon. Chief Minister has included the name of Shri. Balashab Wagh in this commission as a member. This was an honour for the state to have a grass root level and well-studied member in the commission.

The deliberations held in the Commission in pursuance of guidance offered by the then Honourable Chief Minister Shri Manoharrao Joshi in his inaugural speech and also that by the then Honourable Irrigation Minister Shri Mahadeorao Shivankar (in his capacity as the Convenor of the Commission) through the prolonged discussions he had had with the Commission in its beginning meet, when considered in conjunction with the Commission’s formal Terms of Reference (TOR) revealed that the different parts of Maharashtra are finding difficult to reconcile the growing need of irrigation in the State with the increasing requirement of rural and urban water supply and that of industrialisation. It is therefore, considered essential to go in for an integrated consideration of all - irrigation, rural and urban water supply and water for industrial needs - in the context of water that is grossly available instead of viewing through an isolated consideration of irrigation management alone.

Shri. Balasaheb Wagh travelled throughout the state to conduct the workshops, seminars, meetings and field visits with stakeholders as a part of work of commission. He hosted one such state level convention of “SinchanParishad” in campus of K.K.Wagh Education Society,Nasik in 1996 which was attended by more than 3000 farmers and government officers. With his proactive approach and well-studied participation along-with the teammates, the commission passed following recommendations which had a long span significant effect on deciding the strategic planning of water resources of the state. Through these recommendations one can realize that many of these are implemented in the state in general and by Shri.Balashabeb Wagh in Nashik District in specific.

Following recommendations indicates the visionary approach of the commission and its members.

  • 1) Policy of exploitation of water resources for irrigation and non-irrigation uses (agro based, non-agrobased industries and trades etc.) should be so formulated as to check migration of population from rural to urban areas and promote decentralisation of population. Along with, emphasis on production and employment generation in the primary sector (agriculture sector) should be shifted to secondary and tertiary industries / trades by large scale decentralisation in various districts.
  • 2) Field planning and regulation of water for irrigation will have to be undertaken by adopting scientific classification of soils. In order to accomplish that, a revision of Irrigation Act and Rules be undertaken so as to contain a provision of recognising the scientific classification of soils while framing irrigation programme.
  • 3) Provision of en route reservoirs be made along the canals at appropriate locations.
  • 4) Having provided for the needs of domestic consumption from water of 90% dependability, the remaining be used on priority for the long term crop system
  • 5) Agricultural education related to irrigation should not be limited to technology aiming at increasing the production. Subjects like storage facilities, marketing, processing and export of agricultural produce should form the part of the curriculum.
  • 6) Grants to the extent of ½ % should be earmarked to the universities /agricultural universities to conduct irrigation related research and the same be made available by the project authorities by considering it as a part of the cost of the project so undertaken.
  • 7) In order to increase per hectare yield of irrigated land: a) Modern agricultural technology be adopted in irrigated areas. b) Intercropping cultivation be practiced. c) Pilot projects be undertaken periodically on a continued basis
  • 8) Irrigation facility be made available even to the rainfed fruit crops for an initial period of 3 years. Thereafter the very facility be extended to fruit crops elsewhere in order to increase the area under fruit crops
  • 9) To store agricultural produce from irrigated areas, warehouses and cold storages should be set up in the vicinity and in the ‘co-operative complexes ‘ as an essential part of Command Area Development Programme
  • 10) Communication infrastructure connecting areas of production, villages and market yards should be developed as a part of the Command Area Development Programme.
  • 11) Representatives of Irrigation and Agriculture Departments should be taken on the agricultural produce marketing committees in the command areas of irrigation projects by amending the Maharashtra State Sales / Purchase Rules.
  • 12) For effective regulation of unregulated markets there should be Government representatives along with the farmers on the market regulation committees within the marketing systems.
  • 13) The programme of setting up of storage facility and processing industries for agricultural produce on co-operative basis in the command areas should be taken up in hand through the command area development authorities
  • 14) Students pursuing studies in rural areas should be imparted training by amending the curriculum so as to be useful for the newly arising needs of irrigation and agro-based industrial development in order to generate appropriate trained manpower. The impact of above recommendations is being realized and experienced now days by witnessing the social upliftment and increased irrigation yield of the Nasik region. Shri Balaheb Wagh has opened the campus of Agriculture Colleges with six different units consisting of Agricultural science, Agricultural technology, Agribusiness Management , Horticulture, Biotech and Food Technology to cater the needs of North Maharashtra region. This is inconsistent with the effective implementation of recommendations of Maharashtra Water and Irrigation Commission.
  • (Acknowledgement : Report of Maharashtra Water and Irrigation Commission and https://wrd.maharashtra.gov.in )