The Centre has provided maximum benefit, both in terms of policy and financial support, to Maharashtra with allocations for irrigation projects alone worth Rs 36,000 crore, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Sunday.
He said the financial package to tackle the recurring drought works to Rs 8,000 crore. Whereas, allocations for railway projects for suburban Mumbai alone was Rs 40,000 crore, he added.
During an interaction with the media here, Fadnavis said, “If we reflect on the Centre-state financial allocations and reforms index, Maharashtra has emerged as number one in getting the highest ever dividends from the Centre.”
In the irrigation sector alone, financial allocations of Rs 20,000 crore for 26 mega projects were provided under the Prime Mantri Sinchai Yojna. Taking into considerations 106 other irrigation projects, especially in the distressed districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada, the total works to another Rs 16,000 crore. Together, the allocations in the irrigation sector works to Rs 36,000 crore. The state and Centre have set a target to enhance the irrigation potential to 40 per cent. The state also saw the Centre rolling 15,000 km national highway works across Maharashtra. Union Minister for Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari has fast-tracked the projects with completion of 5,000 km roads. Of the remaining 10,000 km, process of land acquisition for 4,000 km has been completed.
Saying he was confident of achieving the target of doubling the income of farmers by 2022, Fadnavis said, “We have adopted a multi-pronged approach to tackle this. Our focus is to bring down the investment cost per acre and expand the scope of bringing small and marginal farmers within the institutional credit mechanism to 80 per cent. Along with these, we have enhanced the capital expenditure in agriculture. The jalyukt shivar projects have rendered 11,247 villages drought-free. Investments in agriculture infrastructure complete with market linkages and cold storages and food parks are measures taken to double the production and income.”