No political bias in drought relief: CMhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/no-political-bias-in-drought-relief-cm/

No political bias in drought relief: CM

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday asserted that his government will not allow any regional bias or political prejudice to govern the allocation of funds to drought-hit districts.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday asserted that his government will not allow any regional bias or political prejudice to govern the allocation of funds to drought-hit districts.

The number of villages reeling under drought is much higher in the backward region of Marathwada than in western Maharashtra. Of the total 7,896 villages facing acute water scarcity,3,299 are located in Marathwada and 859 in western Maharashtra. The state government on Monday disclosed these statistics to end the power tussle between regional leaders across party lines.

The CM said,“The single agenda before the state government for the next three months will remain providing drinking water to drought-hit people in 15 districts. The district officers have been directed to keep alternative plans ready to deal with water supply for drinking purposes till July end. The government has put a ban on use of water for agricultural and industrial purposes in the drought-hit districts. Available water sources will be utilised for drinking water supply till July.”

Chavan was replying to the two-day debate on the Governor’s address in the Assembly. He assured,“We will not allow any individual to suffer because of water crisis. Simultaneously,we will ensure drought does not bring the development of the state to a grinding halt. We will maintain a balance.”

However,he conceded that the state is likely to record a decline in crop production due to this dry spell. While assuring the members that his government will not allow political bias in allocation of funds or compensation,he said,“There is a strict guideline issued to district officers to deploy drinking water tankers to villages wherever there is a demand.”

The number of tankers deployed have gone up to 32,000 and animals kept in the camps are 4.75 lakhs.

Donations pour in

The CM has constituted special development relief fund. Donations are pouring in from various quarters to enable the state government to take the work in drought affected areas on war-footing.

‘Development won’t be hit’

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The state government will not allow development work to be hit because of drought. Advantage Vidarbha will give a big boost to the setting up of industries in the cotton belt. In Mumbai,monorail and metro rail projects will be completed this year. The process of acquiring 400 hectares of land for Navi Mumbai airport will begin this year.