Chavan says Rs 413 cr spent, Marathwada ministers unimpressed

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday said in a cabinet meeting that Rs 413.98 crore has been spent on providing water in drought-affected regions but the figure failed to impress ministers from Marathwada who claimed their region was being neglected.

When PWD (Public Undertakings) Minister and Beed MLA Jaidatt Kshirsagar said the government had diverted most of the funds to regions in western Maharashtra, ministers from western Maharashtra reacted saying that the money was not for water supply alone, but for camps to provide fodder for cattle.

Kshirsagar retorted saying that eastern Maharashtra has grass for fodder but water was the biggest problem there which was not being addressed by the government.

Chavan ordered all district collectors to ensure water tankers reach all the regions where there is water scarcity. It emerged that water was being supplied through 1,539 tankers to 1,155 villages and 3,705 hamlets and that Rs 248 crore has been spent on fodder camps.

Ahmednagar has the highest number of camps (180) followed by Solapur (110), Satara (88) and Sangli (20). There are 69,789 animals across all cattle camps in the state.

Earlier, MLAs cutting across party lines had complained against inadequate relief in Marathwada, worst hit by drinking water shortage.

The average water stock in the state's 2,468 projects stands at 44%. Marathwada has the least stock of 15% and Konkan has the highest water availability of 71%.

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