The residents of Marathwada region have fought the "injustice" of the Nizam rule in the past and are now efficiently tackling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said here on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion of the Marathwada Mukti Sangram Din (Marathwada Liberation Day), he said the real development of the region would begin now, and announced a government medical college in Parbhani district and a turmeric processing unit in Hingoli district.
Thackeray visited the Marathwada Mukti Sangram memorial at Siddharth Garden here and paid floral tributes to the martyrs of the liberation movement.
Large parts of the Marathwada region in central Maharashtra were under the Nizam rule prior to 1948.
Thackeray said, "The residents of Marathwada have faced the injustice of Nizam, but kept fighting against him. Despite the arrogance of Nizam, people here refused to become a part of the Nizam state and joined India as their country." "Last year, I couldn't come here due to the pandemic. The residents here have fought with Nizam rule earlier, likewise they are now fighting the pandemic well," he added.
The chief minister announced various projects for the region.
"Marathwada is a land of saints and so we are going to start a Sant Peeth, an institute that will teach the preachings of saints here at the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University. In future this should become a seperate university," he said.
"The Nizam period structures are not a matter of pride. We are planning to redevelop the buildings of 150 Nizam-era schools in the region. The government has also planned a medical college in Parbhani. Along with this, funds will be allocated for building roads and an underground drainage line scheme in Aurangabad city, and for the water supply scheme in Parbhani. The Jalna-Nanded expressway will add to the development of Marathwada," he said.
The government would work on improving Aurangabad's connectivity with other places, he said.
Referring to the AIMIM workers' protest in the city in the morning, wherein they sarcastically thanked the chief minister for "resolving" the issues that plagued the region, Thackeray said, "A few people stood with boards in their hands to welcome me. But the development that has taken place so far is not the real development...You will see the real development from now on." Union minister Dr Bhagwat Karad, Maharashtra ministers Balasaheb Thorat, Subhash Desai, Sandipan Bhumre, Abdul Sattar, Uday Samant, MPs Imtiaz Jaleel and Anil Desai were present on the occasion.
Talking about the proposed Aurangabad-Ahemadnagar railway line, Thackeray urged Karad to look into the issue and also discuss the issue with Minister of State for Railways Raosaheb Danve about it.
"The government is also thinking to connect Aurangabad to Shirdi by air to boost tourism. Aurangabad city will also get a synthetic track for sportspersons," the chief minister said.