Rs 2000 cr Calamity Relief Fund lying idle with Gujarat govt:Gohil
Sharad Pawar, Jairam Ramesh meeting Narendra Modi and Gujarat ministers, govt officials
Gandhinagar, 3 August 2012
Leader of opposition Shaktisinh Gohil today pointed out that the Central Government has announced Rs. 320 Crore aid for drought relief for Gujarat even though there was no demand from the State. Gohil further pointed out that Union Agriculture Minister Shri Sharad Pawar and Shri Jairam Ramesh came on their own on a two day visit to assess the situation. During a review meeting with the State Government officials the Centre announced that Rs. 425 Crore for supply of drinking water would be released immediately. The Ministers also announced 150 day employment under the MNREGA scheme. At present there is a provision for 100 days employment. They further announced that employment under MNREGA would be given not on per person basis but on family basis. The Centre has made all arrangements to help the State during drought period.
Gohil said, while Rajasthan Government has started providing drinking water, fodder for cattle and even organizing cattle camps, Gujarat Government has not started even distribution of fodder. Sowing has failed twice but no money has been given for seeds to farmers. Narmada water flows into the sea but the Government has not taken any step to harness it and provide it to farmers. The Government is just talking about increasing the height of the dam and gates of the dam but it should instead take measures to provide Narmada water to the farmers.
He said, the State Government has demanded Rs. 14,673 crore from the Centre but Rs.2,000 crore worth of Central funds are already lying with the State and not a single rupee has been given to the farmers for last four years. Instead of immediate relief works the Chief Minister has mixed long term projects with drought relief works and has quoted a figure of Rs. 14,673 crore in his demand for drought relief. When break up for immediate relief was demanded the Government had no details. The Union Ministers have assured the farmers and people of the State that all assistance would be provided for immediate relief.
He said Gujarat Government had announced release of one lakh electricity connections on the eve of Mansa Assembly by elections. But nothing has been done so far. On the other hand, yesterday, Government made another announcement of one lakh new electricity connections. There should be advance planning instead of adhoc measures, he said. In view of drought conditions, farmers should be provided connection on horse power basis. Farmers waiting for connection must get connection without any fixed deposit or money for estimate.
Gujarat Chief Minister boasts of State having surplus electricity. In such a situation the State should not have one lakh farmers waiting for electricity connection. State should be able to supply electricity for 24 hours. Gohil said that today farmers need water and release of Narmada water in ponds and rivers should be taken up on priority basis.
Gohil said, the Chief Minister should not indulge in giving advice at a time when Calamity Relief Fund has Rs 2000 Crore. He should provide this money to the people. Karnataka Government had invited Leader of Opposition in the meeting when BJP Government of Karnataka had a meeting with Shri Sharad Pawar and Jairam Ramesh. However Gujarat Government did not extend any invitation to the Leader of Opposition. Union Ministers had expressed their displeasure over this partisan approach of the Gujarat Government.
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