Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday said he hoped the Union government will provide financial assistance for the ambitious water grid project in Marathwada.
Shinde, who was speaking at an event to commemorate Marathwada Liberation Day, also said he had made such a request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The region, comprising eight districts, was under the oppressive rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad. An uprising of peasants and common citizens ensured the defeat of the Nizam and his Razakar militia and the region merged with India on September 17, 1948.
”We are trying to divert the run-off water during the monsoon towards the Godavari river basin. The state government has allocated Rs 15,000 crore for the ambitious Marathwada grid project. We have also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi for (Central) assistance. I am sure we will get support from the Union government,” he said.
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The chief minister said the state government had allotted several hundred crore rupees for the betterment of roads and other infrastructure in Marathwada and assured people that a change for the better will be seen in the coming days.
The region is generally considered backward, mainly due to insufficient rainfall.
”Rains have taken a break which is affecting farmers in the region. Last year, when farmers were affected due to the same problem, we had gone beyond the rules and distributed more funds to minimize their misery,” the CM said.
The Maharashtra government had held its cabinet meeting in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (formerly Aurangabad) on Saturday.
CM Shinde had announced a package of Rs 45,000 crore for the development of Marathwada as well as revised administrative sanctions for irrigation projects worth Rs 14,000 crore.
The Marathwada region comprises eight districts – Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (previously known as Aurangabad), Dharashiv (previously known as Osmanabad), Jalna, Beed, Latur, Nanded, Hingoli and Parbhani.