Rs 5,200cr boost for Konkan belt
A multi-crore financial package which Narayan Rane wanted for his Konkan region a decade ago will finally be delivered. The only difference is that the monetary support he couldn’t provide as Shiv Sena CM in 1999 is coming under the Congress government where he is now the industries minister. The Ashok Chavan-led cabinet has cleared Rs 5,232 crore for Konkan development, which is politically significant for the Congress-NCP combine as the assembly election is just a few months away. When the Sena-BJP combine was at the helm between 1995 and 1999, Konkan was expecting a financial boost as the region was Sena’s turf. But, they failed to draft a development plan. For embattled Rane, it’s a big achievement as it will help him retain his hold over the region. Under the package, schemes worth Rs 3,915 crore will be implemented in Konkan in three years, while the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority has been entrusted with the task of implementing projects worth Rs 1,317 crore in one year. To boost tourism, a Konkan tourism development corporation will be set up. A senior official said a provision of Rs 1,550 crore has been made for 39 new irrigation projects, while Rs 820 crore has been earmarked for the completion of pending irrigation plans. For roads, a provision of Rs 244 crore has been made, Rs 60 crore for the development of ports, Rs 150 crore for water conservation and Rs 116 crore for the development of khar lands. “Since coastal highways are significant for the development of the Konkan region, a provision of Rs 67 crore has been made,’’ the official said. The cabinet also approved a proposal for setting up a Konkan education board for Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg and a greenfield airport at Chipi-Parule in Sindhudurg on 271 hectares. “Construction will be completed in 18 months from the date of possession of land,’’ the official said.