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CM seeks immediate funds for irrigation projects in Vidarbha

By Staff
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Mumbai, May 5 (UNI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh today sought immediate funds from the Centre to complete 14 pending irrigation projects in Vidarbha region.

Availability of water had become a burning issue in Maharashtra, he said meeting with a fact finding team studelying farmers suicides in the region.

He said the central assistance should be on the lines of what is being provided for Telangana and Kutch regions of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat respectively.

''The need of the hour is to wipe out the pending irrigation backlog. Apart from irrigation backlog, unemployment is a major issue in the region. Private parties should start businesses in the backward regions. The Centre should grant concessions to private parties willing to set up business in backward regions like Vidarbha and Marathwada,'' Mr Deshmukh said.

Similarly, he said forest act amendment was required to remove the obstacles in view of the ''zudpi jungles'' in Vidarbha.

'' About Rs 1500 crore is needed annually to wipe out the backlog in Vidarbha, Marathwada. If the 14 pending irrigation projects are completed at the earliest,about 1.44 lakh hectare land will come under irrigation,'' he said.

UNI MR ADG VD RN2135

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