MLA threatens indefinite hunger strike

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Nagpur, Nov 19 (UNI) A Congress Member of the Legislative Assembly has threatened to resort to an indefinite hunger strike from December 1, the opening day of the winter session of the Maharashtra Legislature, to press his demand for releasing funds for an irrigation project in Vidarbha region of the state.

Speaking to reporters here today, Vijay Wadettiwar, who represents Chimur in the House, said he would resort to the hunger strike in the premises of the Council Hall in Nagpur for funds for the Gosikhurd irrigation project, located in Bhandara district.

''I have written to Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh seeking funds for the project and also warned him of the hunger strike,'' he said.

The contractors had stopped work on the project, as bills worth over Rs 700 crore had been pending, Mr Wadettiwar said. The existing project cost was Rs 7,700 crore, and the scheme could not be completed unless the government allocated sufficient funds, he said.

The Gosikhurd project is expected to irrigate 1.90 lakh hectares of land in Nagpur, Bhandara and Chandrapur districts. Launched in 1981, the estimated cost for the project as per the schedule of rates for 1982-83 was Rs 372.22 crore. The cost was revised to Rs 2091.13 crore subsequent to the revision in the schedule of rates in 1995-96, and to Rs 5659.10 crore last year.

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