Nagpur: In his bid to give development a major push in Nagpur, the Guardian Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has urged Union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh to shift office of National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) to Nagpur. Presently, the NRAA is based in New Delhi and functions under Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission (Now, NITI or National Institution for Transforming India Aayog).
In a letter to the Union Minister, Bawankule referred his detailed discussion with him over series of farmer suicides in Vidarbha. “The Vidarbha farmers have been deprived of any relief despite implementation of various schemes launched by previous UPA Government. But, now many agriculture development projects and schemes are being planned under your guidance. Under strong leadership of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari we are striving hard continuously for improving condition of farmers with the help of experts, scientists and social activists.
You will be happy to note that our efforts are bearing fruits and chances of changing the condition of farmers are being seen on the horizons. In this context, I humbly inform that the Government of India is running the National Rainfed Area Authority since the past 8 years. The office of NRAA is based in New Delhi and functions under NITI Ayog (Earlier, Planning Commission). The office is working in such a place where there is no rainfed area. Several requests in the past were made to shift the office of NRAA to Nagpur but since the present Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is resident of Delhi the NRAA has been stationed in Delhi only. Other tactics are also being used to keep the office of NRAA in Delhi only. This way the NRAA has been turned into a ‘White Elephant’ and crores of rupees are being spent to no use.
The money can be used for Vidarbha’s rainfed area. Recently, the Planning Commission has been dumped and its place NITI Ayog has been set up. This is right time to shift the NRAA to Nagpur. It will immensely benefit the farmers of dry land farming. Nagpur has many Central offices. I am confident the shifting of NRAA to Nagpur will provide relief to drought-hit Vidarbha farmers and overcome the present precarious condition,” stressed Bawankule in his letter to Union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh.