Maha govt gets Rs 500 crore interest free loan from shirdi trust for irrigation project

Maha govt gets Rs 500 crore interest free loan from shirdi trust for irrigation project

Courtesy : Nationalist Bureau03/12/2018 08:58

MUMBAI: The cash-starved Devendra Fadnavis government has secured an interest-free loan of Rs 500 crore from the Saibaba Temple Trust of Shirdi for completion of pending works of the Nilwande irrigation project to meet the drinking-water needs of most tehsils in Ahmednagar district. After the BJP-led government approached the trust for a loan for the irrigation project, its chairperson BJP leader Suresh Haware took the decision of granting it. Never before has such a huge loan been given to a state-run corporation without interest. Also, no timeframe has been fixed for repayment of loan.

At a meeting presided over by CM Fadnavis on February 1, the loan proposal was approved and the order to release funds in two instalments was issued on Saturday. "The Saibaba Temple Trust and the Godawari-Marathwada Irrigation Development Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the purpose. It will be a special case in the history of the temple trust," a senior official told TOI. The official said work on the project had been pending for long. Of the total project cost of Rs 1,200 crore, the temple trust will release Rs 500 crore. The water resources department has made a budgetary provision of Rs 300 crore in the current year, while it has been proposed to make a provision of Rs 400 crore in next year's budget. "We expect to complete the work of the left and right bank canal in two years," he said.

The official said 70,000 devotees visit the Shirdi temple every day, and during festive season, the number crosses the 3.5 lakh mark. But there is acute shortage of water in the region. "We have proposed to meet the demand of all tehsils in Ahmednagar district. Akole, Sangamner, Rahuri, Kopargaon and Shirdi are among the villages which will benefit once the project is complete," the official said. Incidentally, all these tehsils are controlled by politicians. NCP leader Madhukar Pichad belongs to Akole, BJP's Shivajirao Kardile and Snehalata Kolhe belong to Rahuri and Kopergaon, while leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has been elected from Shirdi. The official said that the trust had released Rs 71 crore for four government-run medical colleges. "This time, an exception has been made in the form of an interest-free loan, for a public cause," the official said.

If you have any comments, please click here

Post a comment

Submit Comment