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Assembly witnesses 7 adjournments over Vidarbha irrigation backlog

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Mar 22 (UNI) The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly today witnesed as many as seven adjournments over non-allocation of funds for removing Vidarbha's irrigation backlog.

The issue was raised by BJP member Devendra Phadanvis during the debate on supplementary demands, saying the government was violating Constitutional norms by not allocating funds equitably to all regions.

He said there could be no debate on the supplementary demands and objected to it. The supplementary demands for irrigation department amount to Rs 1041 crore.

Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar accepted the member's contention and adjourned the House calling members to find a solution to the issue.

There are seven adjournments during which the Speaker held talks with the Treasury and Opposition members in his chamber.

Later in the House, after the sixth adjournment, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil admitted that Vidarbha's share in the allocation of funds was less as compared to the prescribed limit as per the Governor's directives.

He said additional funds had to be diverted to Jalgaon, Dhule and Nandurbar as the human development index was the lowest in the state and malnutrition deaths and drought like situation was rampant in these areas.

Mr Patil said Rs 100 crore had been allocated to Marathwada, Rs 50 crore for Konkan, and Rs 385 crore for Tapi irrigation development in North Maharashtra.

It was later decided in the Cabinet that Vidarbha would get Rs 150 crore. The imbalance would be met during the financial year, Mr Patil assured. He said he had telephonically spoken to Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Finance Minister Jayant Patil in this regard and they had given their go-ahead.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the proposal came up through a consensus of all legislators who were present in the Speaker's chamber. But, Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam and BJP leader Gopinath Munde said they were not present at the meeting and they would not give approval to the proposal. Mr Munde said the Opposition could not trust the government in this assurance.

The House was adjourned again where the Opposition leaders were also present. Mr Patil made the final announcement that the imbalance in the supplementary demands with respect to the irrigation backlog in Vidarbha would be rectified in 2006-07 as per the Governor's directives.


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