Mumbai: The growing number of natural disasters is putting a strain on Maharashtra's economy, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday as the states emerges from two spells of heavy rains and devastating floods in the last few months.
He also called for efforts to prevent a possible third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Speaking at the inauguration of a two-day workshop organised by the VS Page Parliamentary Training Center at the Legislative Secretariat here, he said although the government is providing immediate relief to victims of natural calamities, it should not be treated as compensation as this cannot make up for the loss suffered by them.
"These disasters were putting a strain on the state's economy," a statement quoted Thackeray as saying at the event.
Maharashtra is one of the worst-affected states with extreme weather events like floods and lightning. According to IMD data, nearly 435 people died due to extreme weather events in India during June-August, of which one-third casualties were in Maharashtra.
In July-end, more than 200 people died in heavy rains, landslides and floods in the Konkan region and western Maharashtra districts. Last month, parts of the Marathwada region faced flood fury, damaging crops in vast stretches of land.
The chief minister appealed to people's representatives to be vigilant and follow-up to ensure maximum benefits of budget plans and development works reach citizens in their respective constituencies.
"As I am a member of the Legislative Council, I have to think of the whole state as my constituency," he added.
Thackeray pointed out that Maharashtra built health facilities at a very fast clip and on a large scale.
He called for strengthening efforts to prevent a third wave of coronavirus, stressing there is a need to ensure that health facilities already set up continue to function properly to deal with any eventuality.
Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar, Chairman of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, said the budget should be presented in simple language.
For this, a proposal on how to present the budget in simple language by forming a committee of experienced legislators is under consideration of the legislature, he said.
Deputy Chairperson of the Council, Neelam Gorhe, said budget provisions relate to rural, urban areas, deprived sections of the society and women.
Funding from the budget needs to be planned and implemented in such a manner that it reaches every constituency, she said.
"It should be possible to reconcile the budget provisions and the development plan in a constituency. Everyone should try to ensure that direct help reaches the constituency through various initiatives," she said.
Speaking at the workshop, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab said it is important to understand the budget so that it meet the expectations of voters who have elected their representatives with hope they will carry out development works in their constituency.
"Budget is not easily understood. It is a technical subject. But we all need to understand and plan development works for our respective constituencies," Parab added.