Nagpur: Former MLA and convener of the Vidarbha Rajya Andolan Samiti advocate Wamanrao Chatap said here today that the Maharashtra government has neglected the Vidarbha region despite being represented by ten MLAs, including two cabinet ministers.
He produced copies of various documents like the supplementary budget, Schedule II of the same for tribal development as well as the infrastructure plan-II proposed by the Maharashtra government, to substantiate his allegation.
He said that unfortunately, Chandrapur and Yavatmal districts with sizeable tribal populations, have not been allotted funds, though as many as 15 districts have been granted funds under the Rs 65-crore road development budget of the Tribal Development Department’s Schedule–II.
He alleged that it is a deliberate attempt by the Maharashtra state government to favour districts other than those in the Vidarbha region and this was unexpected from the BJP-Sena government.
He said that Vidarbha is represented by six BJP MLAs and four Shiv Sena MLAs, including Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.
“They have been elected by the people of the region but it appears that they are deceiving their own people. I just wonder whether any of them are aware of this kind of utter neglect or they are indifferent to the development of the region like previous governments,” he said.
Chatap said that Nashik has been favoured with 235 roads, followed by Nandurbar with 111 roads, while Gadchiroli has been given merely 11 roads, Nagpur has been sanctioned 17 roads and Gondia has been given two roads.
He said that Chandrapur and Yavatmal districts have been totally neglected in the schedule for reasons best known to the ministers.
He said that though Vidarbha produces 5,500 MW of power, the people of the region’s rural areas face power cuts for upto 12 hours hours every day due to neglect by the Maharashtra government.
The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited’s proposed Infrastructure Development Plan–II for 2012–13 to 2015-16, highlights the stepmotherly attitude towards Vidarbha, he said.
The proposed budget of Rs 5,556.50 crore to construct new sub-stations, switching stations and power transformers for power supply lines has allocated a lion’s share of Rs 1,898.97 crore to six districts in Western Maharashtra, he said, adding that this would benefit the Baramati zone, the Pune zone and the Kolhapur zone.
Northern Maharashtra has been allocated funds worth Rs 1,072.14 crore for four districts under the Jalgaon zone and the Nashik zone, he said.
Unfortunately, the Vidarbha region has been allocated merely Rs 879.20 crore for as many as its 11 districts under the Nagpur zone, Nagpur City zone and the Amaravati zone, he said.
He said that this reflects the utter neglect of the region by none other than those who are at the helm of affairs of Maharashtra state due to the mandate of people from the Vidarbha region.
The only solution to all problems being faced by the people of this neglected region, is to set up a separate state of Vidarbha, he said.