Top Planning Commission functionaries had a tough time dealing with onslaught of the Members of Parliament from Bundelkhand. The MPs have been levelling allegations of inefficiency in implementing the special central government package of Rs 7,266 crore for 13 districts in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Till now R2,537 crore has been released to the state with utilisation being as low as 9% in UP and over 30 % in MP.
Despite the package, over 500 farmers reportedly committed suicide bewteen June 2010 to May 2011 in Bundelkhand, as compared to about 500 farmer suicides in entire 2010. “The frost had devastated the crop this year,” said Mihir Shah, a plan panel member.
The MPs from the region were furious about the package implementation and accused the commission, which is implementing the package, for failing to ensure that people were benefited. Samajwadi party MP RK Singh Patel told the plan panel that they could not visit their constituency because of government machinery breakdown.
Another MP Shivraj Singh Lodhi accused the state government functionaries of taking money to implement different projects under the package comprising of special funds for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Scheme, Rashtriya Kisan Vikas Yojana and Additional Central Assistance.
“Over Rs 5 lakh allocated under MGNREGA to pay wages was used to pay telephone bills in one of the districts,” Jain alleged.
Admitting that there was problem of leakages in implementation, Shah said the government was considering the MPs demand of allocating R250 crore as special relief compensation for damage caused to crops due to frost and already R200 crore to provide drinking water facilities in the region has been approved by the Centre.
It was also decided that the next meeting of Bundelkhand advisory committee will be held in Orcha in Madhya Pradesh and CMs of UP and MP will be invited to present their side.