Lower Painganga project reels in govt apathy; stir on Oct 9
Nagpur : The Lower Painganga irrigation project in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra has become a picture of government apathy forcing local leaders, including former state minister Shivajirao Moghe, to launch an agitationin Pandharkawda on October 9.
Conceived in 1969-70, the then chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh J Vengala Rao and S B Chavan of Maharashtra, had signed an agreement in 1975 for sharing the Godavari waters by building a dam on river Painganga.
Even 42 years and Rs 284 crore later, nothing materialised. Hence, a group of affected persons led by Congress leaders of Vidarbha, including Moghe and fomer Chandrapur MP Naresh Pugalia, are now gearing up to launch a public agitation for revival of this virtually abandoned project.
An administrative approval for the project was granted on June 26, 1997 and the cost of the project was an estimated Rs 1,402 crore which escalated to Rs 10,429 crore in 2009. Now it has scaled up to Rs 17,000 crore, Moghe said here.
Probably the high cost is forcing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to keep the project on back burner, he said.
“For last ten months, he has found no time to take up a detailed discussion on the matter,” Moghe alleged at a press meet here.
The senior Congress leader said to draw the attention of the government, a ‘Jal Kranti’ rally will be held at Municipal Council stadium of Pandharkawda on October 9.
A similar agitation is being planned by Pugalia in Chandrapur.
About 2.27 lakh hectare of land in these two districts will be irrigated if the project materializes.
“Yavatmal district is farmer suicide epicentre of the country. Fadnavis understands the plight yet he is doing nothing to revive this vital project which has potential to change destiny of farmers of Yavatmal and Chandrapur,” said Moghe.
Proposed to be built in Ghatanji in Yavatmal district, the dam is to come up on river Painganga, a tributary of the Godavari.