Plans to raise loans for irrigation projects dropped: Minister

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Nagpur, Nov 27 (UNI) The Government has given up its plans to raise an amount of Rs 16,345 crore through loans to fund irrigation projects in the state, and would mobilise the money through internal resource generation, Minister for Water Resources Ajit Pawar told in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, today.

Replying to a discussion on the irrigation backlog of Vidarbha region initiated by Vijay Wadettiwar (Congress), Mr Pawar said that the amount would be raised by the Government from its own resources over the next few years. The Minister of Finance had suggested that there was no need to issue bonds for the purpose as the financial condition of the state had improved and there would be no difficulty in raising the money required, he said.

The amount thus raised would be distributed among all the regions of the state, exactly as per the directives of the Governor, Mr Pawar said. He further stated that the Government would make efforts to remove by 2010 the backlog of Vidarbha in the irrigation sector as it was in 1994, by allocating Rs 7,000 crore to Rs 8,000 crore every year.

Mr Pawar said that the Government had proposed in the supplementary demands for 2007-2008, tabled in the Legislature here last week, to make a provision of Rs 1,000 crore towards share capital for the four irrigation development corporations in the state. The amount included Rs 190.50 crore for Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC), Rs 439.70 crore for Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC), Rs 64.80 crore for Konkan Irrigation Development Corporation (KIDC), Rs 72.10 crore for Tapi Irrigation Development Corporation (TIDC) and Rs 232.90 crore for Godavari Marathwada Irrigation Development Corporation (GMIDC), the minister said.

This amount was the part of Rs 16,345 crore that the State Government proposed to raise for irrigation, Mr Pawar told the House. Mr Pawar assured the House that effort would be made to allocate over the next 3 years the entire estimated cost of Rs 3,500 crore for the ambitious Gosikhurd irrigation project in Bhandara district at Vidarbha.

Those who participated in the discussion included Dilip Bansod (NCP), Shobhatai Fadnavis, Devendra Fadnavis (both BJP) and Sanjay Deotale (Congress).

UNI

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