Mumbai: Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has threatened to hold widespread agitations if the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government tries to halt or slowdown projects started by the earlier BJP-led government to resolve the water crisis in Marathwada.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pankaja Munde, too, has urged the chief minister to take immediate steps to implement the “Marathwada Water Grid” announced by the previous government.
Mr Fadnavis participated in a one-day token hunger strike by Ms Munde at Aurangabad against the alleged neglect of the drought-prone region.
“Our government sought permission to build new projects in Marathwada. We sanctioned a water grid for the region and even made a draft of the plan. These projects should not be halted or slowed down. If this water grid project is brought to a halt, then widespread agitations under the leadership of Ms Munde will be held,” he warned.
Ms Munde said that the Fadnavis government had sanctioned works worth `32,000 crore and people expected the state government to complete them in time without bias.
“I will meet the chief minister to discuss issues related to Marathwada. I hope the government will not do anything that will force us to intensify this agitation,” the former MLA said.
Phulambri MLA and former Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade, who was also part of the one-day protest, raised doubts on whether the Shiv-Sena-NCP-Congress government would complete the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Corridor in time.
The Marathwada Water Grid project involves connecting 11 dams in the region and creating an integrated piped network to supply water for drinking, industrial and agricultural purposes all through the year in the parched region. Marathwada, with eight districts, has traditionally been a low-rainfall area.