Mithi is a drain, not a river: State | india | Hindustan Times
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Mithi is a drain, not a river: State

CM Ashok Chavan will land in the capital on Wednesday to lobby for more funds for the state from the Centre. Among the 24 projects and issues that Chavan wants the state’s 48 MPs to fight for in the ongoing Parliament session is to assert that Mithi river be treated as a drain by the Centre and not a river, reports Ketaki Ghoge.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2009 01:42 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

Two days after the Union budget, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan will land in the capital on Wednesday to lobby for more funds for the state from the Centre.



Among the 24 projects and issues that Chavan wants the state’s 48 MPs to fight for in the ongoing Parliament session is to assert that Mithi river be treated as a drain by the Centre and not a river. The river was partially responsible for the July 26, 2005, deluge.



For the last two years, funds for the Mithi River Development Project have been stalled, with the Finance Ministry insisting that the Mithi is a river and so should seek funds under Water Resources ministry.



“We will again point out that at least 17 km of the river runs through the city and has 48 drains to carry sewerage and storm water. It is a drain and should get funds under JNNURM,’’ said a bureaucrat on condition of anonymity.

Chavan also wants MPs to pitch for Rs 585 crore for police modernisation post-26/11 terror attacks, viability gap funding (VGF) for the Mumbai Metro and approval for the new airport. In a meeting convened in Delhi on Wednesday, CM along with other cabinet ministers plans to brief the MPs over state demands.

The state is clearly unhappy with the Union budget and wants more in lieu of the upcoming assembly elections.

“We are seeking more funding under JNNURM for the cities. There are pending issues like environment clearances for thermal power plants, Mumbai airport besides go ahead for major railway projects,” said Chief Secretary Johny Joseph.

Political sources said Chavan was to lead a delegation of Congress-NCP MPs to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but the PM was not in the capital on Wednesday.

For the state’s sugar lobby, the government is seeking regulation that forces oil companies to buy ethanol at a fixed Rs 23 per litre from sugar co-operatives. “It’s a political statement and Centre will be forced to announce some of these freebies in lieu of the elections,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity.