Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday described the Union railway Budget as “Advantage Maharashtra”. Fadnavis felt the provision for greater use of freight to transport farm produce would go a long way in helping farmers, especially in the backward regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha.
The overall allocations through projects undertaken show a quantum jump by 206 per cent, Fadnavis said. The chief minister and Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu held several meetings to outline the priorities for Maharashtra. Fadnavis indicated that the Budget clearly sets the direction in which the Centre-state were working together.
“I will call it a pathbreaking Budget, which has factored in special component for the agro-industry. Vidarbha and Marathwada will get a major share in the special purpose vehicle, facilitating mobilisation of funds for projects, which would be completed in three-five years,” he said.
As far as the Budget highlights go, more priority has been given to farmers and industries for setting up cold storage facilities in vacant land near freight terminals. Of the total 45 SVPs announced, the majority share has come to Maharashtra. The railway minister’s decision to open up all locked lands along the tracks, wherever possible, for agriculture is a big step forward.
“Since Suresh Prabhu hails from Mumbai his approach to address the infrastructure and overcrowding in local trains has been given the higher priority with mega-projects like elevated railway corridors — CST to Panvel and Churtchgate to Virar,” Fadnavis said.
In terms of finances, the total budgetary allocation for the state works out to Rs 4,766 crore for the sanctioned projects. It includes Nagar-Beed-Parli (Rs 200 crore); Wardha-Nanded (Rs 75 crore); Wadsa -Gadchiroli (Rs 45 crore); the funds for MUTP 2 works out to Rs 631 crore and for MUTP 3 Rs 5 crore. Three other projects that got the nod include Manmad-Dhule-Indore; Pune-Nashik and Kolhapur-Vaibhavwadi.