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   Home >> Library index >> Drought >> State plans body for drought-hit talukas
State plans body for drought-hit talukas 

Mumbai: The drought-hit talukas may soon have a separate statutory development board. Announcing the plans for the creation of a separate board, the Democratic Front coalition said on Tuesday that the board will be exclusively for the 148 drought-hit talukas, most of which are in western Maharashtra. 
The government is in favour of setting up the new board where the criteria for fund allocation will be based on the irrigation backlog at the taluka level, finance Minister Jayant Patil said. 
In 2001, then state governor P C Alexander had issued a directive laying down guidelines for equitable allocation of funds to remove the backlog in the undeveloped regions. Alexander had said in his report that the bulk of the funds in the irrigation sector had been spent on projects in the Krishna Valley belt in western Maharashtra while the rest of the state was starved of funds and had revised the allocation whereby majority of the funds would go to the undeveloped regions of Vidarbha, Marathwada and Konkan. 
However, powerful politicians from western Maharashtra sought to reverse the directive and corner maximum funds for irrigation projects in their region. 
Former minister and NCP MLA Shalinitai Patil, who raised the issue in the state legislative assembly on Tuesday and demanded the creation of a separate board, pointed out that the acute water scarcity had led to large-scale migration to urban centres. 
Later, in his reply to the two-hour long debate, Jayant Patil said that setting up of a new statutory corporation could only be taken up if the legislature unanimously supported Shalinitai Patilís proposal.