Mumbai: On Tuesday Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a Rs 49,248 crore development 'package' for Marathwada region, under which important projects, including irrigation and infrastructure, will be completed in a time-bound manner.
"Funds have been allocated for these projects and these will be completed within four years," Fadnavis said, after a meeting of the state Cabinet in Aurangabad.
This is the first time in eight years that the state Cabinet meeting was held at Aurangabad.
The region, which was reeling under acute drought till recently, has witnessed heavy rains in the last few days, leading to crop damage and loss of life and property.
Under the plan announced by the Chief Minister, Rs 9,291 crore will be spent on irrigation, Rs 5,326 crore on railway network in the region, Rs 3,000 crore for road projects, Rs 250 crore for airport expansion, Rs 450 crore for micro-irrigation, and Rs 1,885 for water conservation works.
Funds for these projects will be raised through bonds, Fadnavis said.
He assured people of Marathwada region that train service to Beed will commence in 2018. A Bal Thackeray memorial will be set up in Aurangabad.
A rural development institute, named after late Gopinath Munde, former Union rural development minister, will be set up in Aurangabad, Fadnavis said, adding efforts will be made to get Unesco heritage tag for the historic Aurangabad city.
The procedure of completing 'panchnama' to assess damage will be bypassed for areas which have witnessed heavy rains so that farmers get compensation for crop damage quickly, he said.
Criticising Fadnavis over the 'Marathwada package' announced today, Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said the Chief Minister, instead of just mouthing hollow promises, should have done something concrete for the people of the region.
"Had Fadnavis declared loan waiver for the farmers, instead of making hollow promises, they would have been relieved," the Congress leader said.
Meanwhile, police used tear gas and resorted to lathicharge to control a rally of teachers from non-aided educational institutes, which was organised in Aurangabad.
ACP Khushalchand Baheti of Aurangabad Police said the Maharashtra Rajya (Kayam) Vina Anudaanit Shala Kruti Samithi took out a procession this afternoon to press for their various demands.
The participants of the procession went on rampage and starting pelting stones at other pedestrians. Nine policemen and a few pedestrians sustained injuries, he said.
Police resorted to mild cane charge to disperse the mob and the situation is under control, the officer said, adding the injured pedestrians were discharged after primary treatment.
Among other things, the Chief Minister told reporters that 45,000 km of roads would be constructed in the region in the next three years.
Chikalthana Airport in Aurangabad would be given a facelift and its runway would be extended.
Water Conservation Commissionerate would be established in Aurangabad, the CM said.
One lakh houses would be constructed in Marathwada under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna.
Polytechnic colleges in Latur and Jalna would be elevated to the engineering colleges.
An administrative building to house 25 government offices would be built in Aurangabad.
Cancer Institute at Aurangabad would be given Rs 120 crore and upgraded as a state level cancel hospital, Fadnavis said. Of the amount, Centre would pay Rs 80 crore.
Family courts would be established at Beed, Jalna, Parbhani and Osmanabad while textile parks would be developed at Parbhani, Beed and Nanded.