After home minister RR Patil offered his monthly salary towards drought relief, the state cabinet on Wednesday followed suit.
All ministers decided to donate one month’s pay — Rs57,000 each — to the chief minister’s fund for drought mitigation.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had earlier issued instructions to its public representatives to do the same.
“It is just to express our solidarity. Donations from ministers and charities will help only to a small extent, at the end of the day we expect the Centre to pitch in,” said a senior minister.
A team from the Centre is expected to tour the state again on February 27 and 28 to assess the situation. Their report will help the Centre decide on the state’s appeal for Rs1,800 crore additional funds.“The state has so far received Rs778 crore, but we have spent nearly Rs1,800 crore already on drought mitigation and asked for additional assistance for drinking water, cattle fodder and crop damage,” said Milind Mhaiskar, relief and rehabilitation secretary.
The state government has ruled out moving people or supplying water via railways, said a minister. It will rely on increasing the ambit of the employment guarantee scheme to all regions to ensure affected persons can get assured income, and 15% of district budgets will be kept aside for drought mitigation this year.
Ministers spar over setting up of National Law University
Mumbai: The state is unlikely to get a specialised National Law University (NLU) like Bangalore’s National Law School any time soon, as ministers are fighting over which city it should be in.
The state’s higher and technical education department had tabled a proposal to set up the first NLU in Aurangabad. However, over the last three years, demands were made to set up the campus in Bhayander, Mumbai and Nagpur.
The department agreed to build a campus in each city. However, when chief minister Prithviraj Chavan opined that NLU should first start in one city, Mumbai-based ministers said it should be in the city owing to the presence of the Bombay high court, while ministers from Marathwada said that Aurangabad had gotten clearance for the campus in 2007 and 2009. “Aurangabad has already acquired 50 acres of land for the university. The argument that legal luminaries will not come here to teach is not true,” higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope said. Chavan has intervened and the issue has been kept on hold. HTC