(News) Bundelkhand to be ‘special area’, get more funds

Bundelkhand to be ‘special area’, get more funds

The Centre has decided to declare the entire Bundlekhand region, the theatre of recent Congress-BSP political rivalry, as a “Drought Affected Special Area”, and provide an additional Rs 3,450 crore as additional plan assistance to Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh over the next three years to implement the Rs 7,266-crore package cleared by the Union Cabinet last month.

Government sources said two days after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi went to Jhansi in Bundelkhand, the chief secretaries of UP and MP held discussions on December 23-24, 2009 with the Centre on the integrated development of this region spread over the two states.

The reason for declaring Bundelkhand a “Special Area” is to facilitate the sharing of costs between the Centre and the two states.

Despite criticism by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, the government is learnt to be inclined to go through with the the 231-km Ken-Betwa river link, which is at the heart of the Bundelkhand drought mitigation package strategy. Ramesh’s statement that the river link would submerge large parts of the Panna Tiger Reserve came, it has now emerged, even before the Ministry of Water Resources had submitted the formal proposal on the linkage.

Courtesy: Indianexpress.com