Montek unhappy at tardy progress

Deputy Chairman of the Planing Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia,who on Saturday reviewed the progress in the implementation of drought mitigation strategies in Bundelkhand region in UP’s Jhansi district,expressed his concern over slow implementation of the Bundelkhand package.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published:January 4, 2012 4:39 am

Deputy Chairman of the Planing Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia,who on Saturday reviewed the progress in the implementation of drought mitigation strategies in Bundelkhand region in UP’s Jhansi district,expressed his concern over slow implementation of the Bundelkhand package. Ahulwalia would go for field inspection to different places in Bundelkhand region on Sunday.

Ahluwalia heads the advisory panel meant for overseeing implementation of the Centre-approved Rs 7,266 crore drought mitigation package for Bundelkhand for a period of three years from 2009-10. Bundekhand region comprises seven districts of UP — Banda,Chitrakoot,Hamirpur Jalaun,Jhansi,Lalitpur and Mahoba — and Madhya Pradesh’s six districts- Chhatarpur,Damoh,Datia,Panna,Sagar and Tikamgarh.

Addressing a press conference in Jhansi,Ahluwalia said only about 27 per cent funds have been utilized in UP while it is around 32 per cent in MP. However,state government,in a press release issued late night,claimed that 76 per cent of funds released so far have been utilized.

Top officials of the UP government,including Chief Secretary Anoop Mishra,were present at his review meeting. “Only a few officers,who are posted as district magistrates in Bundelkhand’s MP parts,attended the meeting,” a source in Jhansi said.

Ahluwalia said several Lok Sabha members of Bundelkhand region,who were present at the meeting,made complaints about corruption in the implementation of the package. He said he would write letters to the authorities concerned in both the state governments to get probed all such complaints. He also underlined the need for developing infra-structures like national highways and rail routes in Bundelkhand region.

Meanwhile,Union Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain Aditya,who was present at the meeting,has demanded CBI probe into the alleged corruption in the implementation of Bundelkhand package.

Some of the MPs,who attended the meeting,communicated to Ahluwalia about the failure of insurance companies to make payment to farmers whose goats,provided from the Bundelkhand Package,suddenly died. A few MPs also raised the objection over the scheme under which farmers get goats from the package.

Apart from government officials and Pradeep Jain “Aditya”,MPs,who represent various Lok Sabha seats in Bundelkhand parts of MP and UP,were present at the meeting.

Meanwhile in a press release,issued by the state’s Information and Public Relation Department,the state government has requested the centre to take quick decision over the state’s proposal for Rs 10,685 crore for development in Bundelkhand area. The state government also reiterated its earlier demand for special area incentive package. The release said the Centre has so far not approved the state government’s proposal for the loan waiver scheme for Bundelkhand farmers. The government claimed UP’s share of the Bundelkhand package is inadequate for development in the region’s seven districts.

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