Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on Friday claimed that the previous Congress-NCP government deprived Vidarbha region of over Rs 6,000 crore of development funds despite the directives from the governor.
Replying to a marathon debate on developmental issues of Vidarbha in the legislative assembly in Nagpur, Fadnavis said these funds were diverted to other parts of state and thus the developmental activities in the region suffered badly.
As much as Rs 3,444 crore and Rs 3,621 crore were given additionally to other regions in 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively while non-plan expenditure funds Rs 4,214 crore too were diverted to other regions, he said.
It was an irony that the previous government did not implement its own orders in this regard, said Fadnavis, who himself hails from Nagpur in Vidarbha and had backed the idea of separate Vidarbha state when in the opposition.
Had Vidarbha not become part of Maharashtra in 1960, the state would have lost Mumbai to Gujarat, he claimed.
Posts of tehsildars, deputy collectors and additional collectors in Amravati division of Vidarbha were lying vacant, which hampered the land acquisition for irrigation projects, he said, adding that his government had filled all these posts now, giving a fillip to the irrigation projects.
As many as 102 irrigation projects in Akola, Washim and Buldana districts will be completed by June next year, bringing 2.36 lakh hectares under irrigation, he said. The irrigation projects where 50% of allocated funds have already been spent would get priority in completion within 2-3 years, he added.
As many as 132 private water bodies in Vidarbha would be desilted, he said. Gosikhurd irrigation project had made a significant progress and rehabilitation of some of the villages will be complete by March 2015, he announced.
NOGA, the government-run fruit processing company located in Hingana, will be shifted to Butibori in Nagpur and its capacity will be enhanced from 3,000 tonnes to 5,000 tonnes per annum, he said.
Orange processing plant in Katol near here will be modernised, the Chief Minister assured.
Saying that Amravati division had been neglected all these years, Fadnavis said a textile hub would be set up at Nandgaon Peth MIDC in Amravati city, which would attract investment of Rs 2,000 crore and create 7,500 jobs.
The airport at Belora in Amravati will be developed into a full-fledged all-weather airport with night landing facility and terminal building within three years. The runway length would be increased from the present 1,400 metres to 2,300 metres. The wide-bodied aircraft such as Boeing 747 and Airbus 320 would also be able to land there in future, he said.
Work on airports at Akola, Nashik and Shirdi will be expedited, the CM said, while blaming the previous government for failure to acquire land for expansion of airport at Akola from the Punjabrao Deshmukh agriculture university. The land would be acquired within a month, he added.
The posts of chief executive officers at Zilla Parishads were filled up only recently, after being vacant for a long time, he said.
A blue-print for developing the famous Lonar Lake in Buldana as a tourist attraction was being prepared, he said.