The state government will seek additional funds from the Centre for drought mitigation even as it seeks policy changes to boost infrastructure at the meeting with the Planning Commission in Delhi on Thursday.
A delegation led by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan will meet the Commission to get approval for the state’s annual plan, fixed at Rs. 46,938 crore for 2013-14. The annual plan is the total development outlay for the year. The hike in the annual plan has been very modest, just 5% more than last year, especially given the state's poor finances. The state is hoping that the Commission allows it to increase the annual plan by another Rs. 1,000 crore.
"In the discussion on the state's overall performance and finances, we will also be seeking additional funds for drought mitigation to complete irrigation projects and for water conservation measures," said a senior bureaucrat, on condition of anonymity.
He added that Chavan would also reiterate the need to launch the second phase of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme and a separate funding line for mega cities like Mumbai.
The state government has identified 105 pending irrigation projects, largely in drought prone areas, which can mitigate water scarcity in these areas. The state will seek additional grants to the tune of Rs. 11,000 crore over the next three years to complete these projects. The delegation will also seek funds for water conservation projects like building cement check dams, farm ponds, as well as drip irrigation.
Chavan will seek branding of certain projects as national projects to seek 90% funding for them, like the Navi Mumbai International airport. The state will also seek environmental relaxations for coastal road projects and argue against the implementation of the Western Ghats report, which suggests restrictions on construction activity in the eco-sensitive region.