Banda, Apr 30: Targeting the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said it did not show desired activeness in spending additional central grants for development of Bundelkhand which has become economically the most backward region of the country.
“As expected, the Uttar Pradesh government did not show activeness in spending the additional central grants. We hope the situation will improve,” he told a public meeting here sharing the dais with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
The Prime Minister said proper attention was not paid to the region, running through UP and MP, wih the result that it had degenerated into economically the most backward region of the country.
He said the pace of development in Bundelkhand had slowed down during non-Congress regimes in Uttar Pradesh and at the Centre.
Emphasising the need for better coordination among Central, UP and MP governments for successful implementation of the package, Singh said political differences should be kept aside for the development of Bundelkhand.
The Prime Minister said his government had approved a package of Rs 7266 crore for the region in 2009 and released additional grants of Rs 1800 crore in the last two fiscals for UP and MP.
More central funds would be released after utilisation of this amount, he said.
“Irrigation projects started during the Congress rule in the region are still incomplete. The handloom industry in Maurainpur is in bad shape.
“Spinning mills set up in Banda and Jhansi are closed. Besides, work on the glass factory, whose foundation was laid by Rajiv Gandhi could not be completed,” the Prime Minister told the rally.
Announcing setting up of a central agricultural university in Jhansi, he said work had begun on introducing a bill in Parliament in this regard.
Singh said Rahul told him about the need for setting up such a university and an approval in this connection had been taken from the UP government.
He said a proposal of Rs 200 crore had also been made to ensure availability of potable water in the region.
“I hope the proposal will be passed in May after which problem of potable water in the region will be solved,” Singh said.
Talking about backwardness of the region, the Prime Minister said greenery was hardly seen here due to cutting of trees which started during the British period.
On the Bundelkhand package, he said the Centre would pay heed to all suggestions made by anyone in this regard and “we want UP and MP governments to effectively implement it”.
Even after implementation of the package, the Centre, Singh said, would continue to pay special attention to the develompent of the region.
It would ensure setting up of new industries and improvement in the agriculture sphere besides eradication of poverty in the region, the Prime Minister said. PTI