MUMBAI: After countering Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claims on number of houses constructed during UPA regimen, the Maharashtra Congress on Saturday challenged his claims regarding the drought-free villages in the state and demanded an inquiry be conducted into the money spent on 'JalYukt Shivar' - which is the flagship scheme of the Devendra Fadnavis government.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech at Shirdi on Friday said that 16,000 villages in Maharashtra have become free of drought and work is in progress in more than 9000 villages for making them drought free. But, there is drought situation in at least 20,000 villages of 201 talukas in the state.
It is clear that Mr. Prime Minister is lying owing to his habit and it is also clear that there is a massive corruption in the implementation of Jalyukta Shivar scheme," Maharashtra State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said here on Saturday.
State Congress Chief Ashok Chavan on Friday had released data on houses built during the UPA regimen from 2004 to 2013 while countering PM Modi's claim that while the UPA could build only 25 lakh houses in their last three years, the current government has been able to build 1.25 crore houses in around the same time frame.
"The data clearly shows that 75 lakh houses were built between 2010 and 2013," Sawant said today and added that similar jugglery with numbers is being done in case of JalYukt Shivar program also. "More than Rs.7,459 crore has been spent by the state government while granting 5.41 lakh works pertaining to JalYukt Shivar. More than 20,420 works are in progress. The state government has declared that number of tankers supplying water in villages has reduced by almost 80 per cent. But in the month of October itself, hundreds of tankers are operating," Sawant added.
Sawant also presented the latest Geographical Survey and Development Agency (GSDA) report which states that compared to the levels five years back, the current water levels in 13,984 villages of 252 talukas out of total 353 talukas in Maharashtra have gone down by more than 1 meter.
Water level in 3,342 villages is down by more than 3 meters, in 3,430 villages by between 2 to 3 meters and in 7,212 villages by between 1 to 2 meters.
"This is a very serious. It paints the grim picture of the drought in the state. How can one hail the JalYukt Shivar program as successful one while the government agencies themselves are coming out with such reports," Sawant questioned. Sawant also stated that an inquiry needs to be conducted into the money spent on the program.