The state government has decided to push three core sectors — digitalisation, road construction and water conservation — with a definite timeline to bridge the divide between rural and urban Maharashtra. The aim is to push the process of digitalisation and road connectivity across 40,500 villages by 2019.
“In May, the process of digitalisation of 14,000 gram panchayats will commence. The work is expected to complete by end of 2018 or early 2019,” sources said. In the last 3.5 years, the digitalisation of 15,000 gram panchayats were accomplished. The emphasise on digitalisation is to ensure better connectivity and communication in villages. Applications of digitalisation in rural areas will be stressed on improving education and health infrastructure.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is leading the “Go Rural” drive. In the next two to three months, the government will cover almost all 34 districts, which emcompasses 351 talukas and covers 40,500 villages. The purpose is to sent a strong message to the administration to expedite the rural roadmap and highlight the work done in 3.5 years. The rural road development under Mukhyamantri Sadak Yojna is 30,000 km. The challenge is to complete 15,000 km within one-and-a-half year. In the last 3.5 years, 4,000 km rural road network was built and work is in progress in 11,000 km.
Under the drought mitigation work the rural roadmap has set the ambitious target of making 13,753 villages water neutral. Under the flagship Jalyukta shivar projects, the government has decided to make 25,000 villages drought-free by 2019. The government, which ensured that 70 per cent of the overall state budget was allocated for rural development across core sectors, emphatically conveyed a message that economic divide between the rural and urban had to be minimised. A senior secretary in ministry of finance and planning revealed, “In spite of financial constrains and growing debt, which crossed Rs 4.25 lakh crore, we have not compromised on allocation in rural Maharashtra.”
The financial allocations with planned schemes have yielded positive results in at least three core sectors namely — Rural infrastructure, agriculture and irrigation. The loan waiver scheme for farmers alone has led to an expenditure of Rs 24,000 crore for 50 lakh farmers.
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