UP government officials may have some explaining to do as the review of the
Bundelkhand package is scheduled for May 20 and the state has failed to utilise
70 per cent of the fund allocated to it for the first year. Deputy Chairman of
the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia will conduct the review in New
The Union government had approved a Central assistance of Rs 7,266 crore for
Bundelkhand, to be shared by UP and Madhya Pradesh, with UP getting Rs 3,506
crore. The projects that were to be undertaken focused on strengthening the
irrigation system, watershed management and providing employment through dairy
and cattle. So far, Rs 800.97 crore has been released to animal husbandry,
horticulture, forest, irrigation, minor irrigation, rural development, dairy
development and watershed management departments.
As the departments started doing their own review of the projects, it was found
that the total expenditure has been a mere 30 per cent of the allocated funds.
While departments such as forest and rural development have managed to cross the
mandatory 55 per cent mark, others like minor irrigation, watershed development
and animal husbandry have been able to spend only 1 to 3 per cent of the fund.
The technical expert of the Planning Commission, Dr K D Sharma, who reviewed the
projects during his visit between March 21 to 25, had remarked that the progress
of some of the departments has been very slow.