The transformation of Baramati is Shri Ajit Pawar’s most profound political accomplishment. Located 102 km from Pune, Baramati was once a barren drought-hit region. Today, the city is a thriving agricultural and industrial hub, and a model for sustainable development across the country.
One of Shri Ajit Pawar’s primary objectives was to restore the city’s water supply and revitalize its agrarian economy. He worked closely with the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Baramati - a National Award winning farm-science center - to achieve tremendous results. He began by spearheading a comprehensive water conservation program to help renew Baramati’s groundwater table and built a state-of-the-art irrigation system that redirected water from the Nira River to local farms.
He recognized the dangers of single-crop cultivation in the face of drought and disease, and urged farmers to adopt more sustainable cultivation methods and to diversify into other revenue streams. As a result, farmers in the region have ventured into dryland farming, bee-keeping, sericulture, high-value crops like pomegranate, custard apple, and bananas, and animal husbandry. In fact, most farmers in the region now own two dairy cows to limit the impact of crop failure. This has contributed to the rise in region's milk production from 265 liters a day in 1970 to over 200,000 liters a day in 2017.
Shri Ajit Pawar also drove the creation of a thriving secondary agrarian economy in the region, which further improved farmers’ economic prospects. Today, Baramati is both a vital primary source for crops like sugarcane, grapes, jowar, cotton, and wheat, and a key processing hub for everything from cotton and grains, to dairy products and sugar. Furthermore, Maharashtra's vibrant wine-making industry has its roots in Baramati. The region pivoted from cultivating table grapes after recognizing that Baramati’s climate and soil were ideal for the more lucrative wine grape varietals.
Shri Ajit Pawar has also been instrumental in driving industrial growth in the region. The 800-hectare Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) Industrial Area, for instance, is home to giants like Bharat Forge Ltd., Godfrey Phillips, ISMT Ltd., Kenersys, Schreiber Dynamix Dairies Ltd., Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd., as well as the renowned Baramati Hi-Tech Textile Park Ltd., and other small-scale industries.
Much of the region’s economic prosperity can be credited to its phenomenal infrastructure. An intelligently-designed network of broad, well-lit roads, clean pedestrian walkways with ample green cover, multi-storey parking facilities — Baramati is light years ahead of many larger, more developed cities. The city draws its water from three dams on the Nira River, as well as from the Ujjani dam via a newly constructed water purification plant. The city’s hygienic environs can be attributed to it’s comprehensive garbage collection network, efficient underground sewerage system, and excellent public toilet facilities.
In addition to core civic amenities like quality educational institutions and public healthcare facilities, Baramati also houses a massive sports and recreation stadium, fresh produce markets, a unique fresh fish auction house, beautiful public gardens, parks for senior citizens, and more. Shri Ajit Pawar has also worked towards rehabilitating slum communities and constructed a biogas plant in an effort to make the city more energy efficient.