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Govt prioritising projects in farmer suicide regions: Mahajan

Girish Mahajan

Thane : Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan has said that the state government has directed its efforts to complete maximum number of projects scheduled in farmer suicide prone regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha in the state.

Speaking to PTI on the sidelines of of the BJP state executive here yesterday, the minister said the government has decided to take up projects in these regions on priority and finish them so as to provide relief to farmers.

He also said that the state owes around Rs 4,800 crore towards land acquired from farmers for various irrigation projects in the state.

“For more than three generations this amount is pending for payment with interest, and in some cases farmers do not  get their payment during their life time. To change this situation the government has come out with bonds for Rs 15,000 crore at 7-8 per cent interest. From these bonds Rs 5,000 crore would be allocated for wiping out pending payments,” he said.

This will have dual benefits– one the farmers will get their long pending money– and second the government will save 50 per cent of the interest payout, Mahajan added.

He was also of the opinion that Surya hydroelectric project should move fast as the western belt was facing acute water shortage due to fast urbanisation.

On Barvi dam, the minister said there were numerous issues to tackle apart from increase in height and “we are in the process of solving the water needs of cities and towns dependent on it.”

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