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Nine Nagpur villages relocated for Gosikhurd irrigation project

Gosikhurd

Nine out of 13 villages in Nagpur district of Maharashtra have been shifted to alternate sites to facilitate speedy completion of Gosikhurd irrigation project in Vidarbha

GosikhurdNagpur: Nine out of 13 villages in Nagpur district of Maharashtra have been shifted to alternate sites while work is on to rehabilitate remaining villages before the onset of monsoon as part of the re-settlement process to facilitate speedy completion of Gosikhurd irrigation project in Vidarbha.

Authorities have so far spent Rs 324.92 crores on rehabilitation and related work in the inter-district irrigation project during a span of nearly a year after Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced a package of Rs 1,199 crores for the project-affected persons.

Chavan had announced the package in May last year and released Rs 684.18 crores of which Rs 324.92 crores have been deposited in the respective bank accounts of those affected in Nagpur and Bhandara districts.

A total of 51 villages in Nagpur district and 13 in Bhandara need to be shifted as part of the resettlement process. Many of the project-affected persons from four villages namely Jivnapur, Sirsi, Kharda and Panjrepar have shifted to new locations.

Divisional Commissioner Anoop Kumar chaired a meeting last week to review the implementation of the rehabilitation package in the project.

In the first phase, three villages out of five in Bhandara district have been shifted.

Out of a total 14,948 villager-families, 5,715 families have been provided with alternate shelter after shifting them from Nagpur and Bhandara districts, Assistant Commissioner of Nagpur division (Rehabilitation), Rajlaxmi Shah who is presently monitoring the project, said.

The Gosikhurd irrigation project is coming up on river Vainganga which flows across Bhandara district. The project was conceived way back in 1983. But it was actually launched on April 22, 1988 by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at Gosikhurd village in Bhandara which was part of then Chimur Lok Sabha constituency.

After 26 years, this ambitious project has become the epitome of neglect and disappointment for people in Vidarbha.

The project was expected to irrigate about 2,50,800 hectares of land in three districts in eastern Vidarbha (Nagpur, Bhandara and Chandrapur) but so far it has created an irrigation potential for only 36,894 hectares.

The project on Vainganga river which flows from Balaghat (MP) to Pranhita river (Gadchiroli), was marred by several alleged irregularities, violation of norms, sub standard work, breach in canals and charges of corruption.

PTI

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