As it sets in motion the process of utilising the Rs 7.94 lakh crore multi-sector investments it bagged during the Make in India Week, the government’s biggest challenge is to make adequate provisions for uninterrupted power and water supply.
Ahead of the 2016-17 budget, the government is likely to make higher allocations in these two critical sectors, which would also help mitigate the agrarian crisis in Marathwada, Vidarbha, parts of North and Western Maharashtra.
Highly placed sources in the government revealed, “Apart from private sector investments in power, the government is also exploring the possibilities of raising funds for the irrigation sector to combat the drought across 25,000 villages, out of the total 40,000 villages. Currently, the provision for irrigation cannot be raised beyond Rs 12,000crore-Rs 15,000 crore. Even it the government integrates multiple departments for irrigation projects, the total amount cannot exceed Rs 50,000 crore.
In the wake of the Make in Maharashtra Week, Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has already held a meeting, giving clear directives to the core team to set the process in motion sector wise. The government wants the implementation of most mega-projects\ across sectors to start within the next six months to three years, depending on the logistic requirement.
Fadnavis exuded optimism when he said, “ All the MoUs which we have clinched are workable.”
The chief minister’s flagship project “Jalyukta Shivar” has, in first phase, covered 6,200 villages. However, its success will rely on how the coming monsoon fares. Yet, Fadnavis has given the go-ahead for the second phase spread across 5,000 villages.
In the backward regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha, the problems of water and power is equally worrisome. While at Latur district in Marathwada water supply comes once in 15 days, the load shedding in these region is for almost 6 to 12 hours daily.
Fadnavis has taken the initiative of textile hubs and food processing sector in these belt to boost agro-economy and uplift farmers. However, investment in infrastructure in rural and second-tier cities has also become significant to expand its markets.
The chief minister believes the reforms in power sector will help address the problems to large extent, specially with union minister Piyush Goyal focussing in Maharashtra.
Energy Minister Chandrakant Bawankule said, “The state will become power surplus by 2025. The investment of Rs 1.46 lakh crore in the power sector will be of great help.”
The state has also given lot of emphasise on electronic clusters, defence manufacturing and auto manufacturing, for which hubs have been demarcated.