Mumbai: Rural development minister Hasan Mushrif has slammed the Fadnavis government for neglecting rural development of the state during its tenure from 2014-2019. The Maharashtra Vikas Aaghadi government will balance rural and urban development, he said, addressing a press conference in Mantralaya.
Mushrif recently assumed charge of his department and reviewed its functioning. "There are 28,000 gram panchayats and 2.36 lakh kilometres of rural road in the state. The state of rural roads is pathetic. The condition of primary schools and health services are deplorable. The Fadnavis government totally neglected the rural areas. Only urban areas were their priority and they especially focussed only on the metro," Mushrif said.
Further, Mushrif made it clear that the stay on various development projects under the purview of his department would soon be lifted. " As new legislators have been elected and they want the projects in their constituencies to be accommodated, we are finalising plans for implementation," he said. He also admitted that the funds meant for development may lapse, as the time for utilisation of these is limited. " We will request the finance department to extend this time limit," he added.
"There will be a funds crunch as the Fadnavis government has left behind a Rs 5 lakh crore debt burden. The revenue deficit stands at Rs 93,000 crore," he said.
'Mahalakshmi Saras' to start on January 17
The Mahalakshmi Saras exhibition will be held at the MMRDA ground in Bandra-Kurla Complex, from January 17-29. The governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, will inaugurate the event. Twenty-nine women's self-help groups will exhibit products in 511 stalls, of which 70 stalls are for food. Every year, this exhibition is organised in the city and gets a huge response. Last year, the turnover from this display was Rs 12 crore and this year, the state government expects this amount to be Rs 15 crore, said R Vimala, chief executive officer of the Maharashtra State Livelihood Mission.