AURANGABAD: The Maharashtra government has launched some schemes which will help make the perennially parched Marathwada region free of drought, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday.
He said the government was working on various sectors, including irrigation, agriculture and infrastructure, to develop the region and make it overcome the water scarcity.
"The water grid and other new schemes will make Marathwada shed the tag of being a drought-prone region," he said addressing a gathering here on the 71st Marathwada Muktisangram Day.
"It is the day to make resolutions. As part of this, we have initiated various schemes for Marathwada which will help this region to beat the water scarcity and drought," he assured.
Tenders have been floated to implement the water grid scheme, on which the government will spend Rs 20,000 crore, the chief minister said.
"Besides, to meet the water needs for agriculture in Marathwada, the state government is planning to the bring excess water from the Konkan region, which flows into the sea, towards the Godavari valley," he said.
Fadnavis said the government has also sanctioned a water pipeline scheme worth Rs 1,650 crore for Aurangabad.
"This will help to overcome water scarcity in the city for next 50 years," he added. He said Aurangabad will play a vital role in future on the industrial front.
The first phase of Shendra node of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project, recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will act as a magnet for investments in the Marathwada region, he said.
Along with the DMIC project, the Samruddhi corridor will also help Aurangabad and Marathwada to make remarkable contribution in the national economic growth, Fadnavis said.
Meanwhile, some freedom fighters, who were present on the occasion, demanded equal pension amounts for them under the central and state schemes.
"We are paid less by the state as compared to the central government.
We fought for one nation, then our pension should also be one," city-based freedom fighter Narayandas Rathod Aurangabad told reporters after the function.