Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Dy CM
Chagan Bhujbal and Industry Minister Narayan Rane in the meeting
on July 22.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan during the specially convened
meeting on July 22 in Nashik, the pilgrimage city near Mumbai,
admitted North Maharashtra region had been neglected by the
successive state governments.
“Nandurbar, Dhule, Jalgaon and Ahmadnagar are the districts that
were often neglected when it came to all-round development of the
State”, a local English daily quoted the Chief Minister as saying.
It is to be noted that ummid.com in its article titled
Khushi Kahin Gham on July 07 had
highlighted the woes in the rural Maharashtra in a big way. Noting
that the rural Maharashtra has always been neglected by the
successive governments and the benefits of the government schemes
are just limited to few metros, we had observed, “We write this
with utmost pain that the successive governments in Maharashtra have
virtually transformed the whole state into a picture perfect of
Kahin Khushi Kahin Gham.”
Chief Minister’s admission came during a specially convened cabinet
meeting on July 22 in Nashik, the second in the history of
post-Independent India after the first such meeting that was held
on September 12, 1995. The meeting that was held at the Nashik Rest
House announced a comprehensive package of Rs. 6509.80 crore rupees for the
development of the entire North Maharashtra region that comprises Nashik,
Dhule, Nandurbar, Ahmednagar and Jalgaon districts.
Among the various development works decided at the meeting included
river-linking-project for Nashik division, nursing college at
Malegaon, drama theatres in five districts,
women hospital at Nashik, night landing facility at Dhule
an independent authority
for the development of Shirdi including the construction of an
airport at the
pilgrimage place where millions from all across the
country visit every year.
package for various developmental projects in these districts will
be implemented in three years", Chief Minister Ashok Chavan
though the Chief Minister admitted that the region had been
neglected by successive
while announcing the package
for the region, the major share announced after the July 22 meeting
is again going to
And of the 6509.80
crore rupees announced
for the entire North Maharashtra, most of the funds
for enhancing the height of Gangapur Dam
renovation of Kikwi Dam in
Nashik, setting up an independent authority
on lines of MMRDA for
Nashik, slashing of Vale Added Tax (VAT) on wines in a bid to
encourage the wine industry and to felicitate wine cluster
crores of rupees for enhancing tourism, river-linking,
police commissionerate, passenger terminal at Ojhar airport and
various other decisions with regard to the development of Nashik
Revenue Commissionerate area.
North Maharashtra package is a poll
Meanwhile, though the Cong-NCP combine is celebrating the North
Maharashtra package worth 6509.80 Cr rupees as a major success,
political parties and the natives are not pleased.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray says that the Rs. 6,509 crore special
package for North Maharashtra is announced by the Congress-NCP
coalition with an eye on the coming assembly elections, strong
reactions are also coming from the people even from Nashik, the city which bagged the major
share of the package.
“Though the plan
is great and would go all the way in solving the water problem of
the region what people expect to see is immediate work of projects
directly affecting them”, C. N. Ahire, a retired government employee
said to the local media.
are also annoyed with the package. They said that they had submitted
a list of demands to the government before the July 22 meeting. But
the government instead of looking at these demands decided to slash
the Value Added Tax (VAT) which would benefit them in no way.
Same is the case
that goes with other people in the region. Stating that the package
failed to address the major issues facing the people, Altaf Ahmad,
an activist from Malegaon says, "The package has nothing for the
common man. It seems to be benefiting a meager section in the state
associated to the industry and those associated with the wine
At the same time, many are of the view
that even if the government manages to implement 70 percent of the
total developmental works it has announced, it would go a long way
in changing the face of the region at least to some extent.