Oppn criticises drought fund policy

BJP alleges western Maharashtra was favoured, Marathwada given step-motherly treatment

mumbai Updated: Jun 07, 2013 02:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) blasted the state government for alleged regional imbalances in the allocation of funds under measures taken for drought rehabilitation.

Vinod Tawde, the leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, alleged that western Maharashtra had been favoured for various schemes, while the worst hit districts in Marathwada were treated unfavourably.

Tawde shared spending figures of drought mitigation schemes on Thursday to illustrate how regions with stronger political patronage received favours.

Districts such as Solapur (Rs 211 crore), Ahmednagar (Rs 216 crore) and Satara (Rs 104 crore) received more financial aid for cattle camps in the period between May 2012 and June 2013.

“Jalana and Osmanabad districts were allocated only Rs7.55 and Rs13.52 crore (in financial aid) respectively,” Tawde said.

He also alleged that chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had issued a special resolution for the inclusion of talukas from his hometown of Karad for a special allocation of Rs16 crore in aid.

The cabinet reviewed the measures taken across 11 drought-affected districts. The state has so far spent Rs1,115.8 crore on water distribution and Rs749.41 crore on cattle camps.

The state decided that it would not wrap up the cattle camps till the end of July. District collectors have been directed to provide financial aid to villages until sufficient rain was recorded.

It was also decided that financial aid be provided to farmers that sustained losses because of poor crop seasons in the last two years. A package of Rs2,172 crore, received from the Centre, would be distributed to farmers.

Chavan also said that the government was considering a new Rs60,000 crore financial assistance plan to eradicate drought conditions from the state in the next three years.

“Of the total amount (needed in the plan), about Rs10,000 crore will be raised by the state while Rs30,000 crore will be sought from the centre,” Chavan said.

First Published: Jun 07, 2013 02:10 IST