Mumbai: The new government in Maharashtra headed by Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday resolved to give priority to the development of the Vidarbha region, which has one of the highest incidence of farmers suicides in the country.
Announcing this, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told mediapersons here that the development issues concerning Vidarbha would be accorded top priority.
"We shall monitor the development works, the implementation of various packages for the region on a monthly basis," Chavan declared after the first meeting of his council of ministers, including the full cabinet and the ministers of state.
While the exact modalities of monitoring and reviewing the works would be worked out soon, Chavan said the government would verify the physical targets achieved versus the expenditure incurred on them and the slackness in implementing the development schemes.
Vidarbha comprises 11 districts of eastern Maharashtra which have reported over 7,000 farmland suicides in the past few years.
So far, four major developmental packages have been announced for the region worth a total of around Rs 10,000 crore, which includes one announced by the Prime Minister.
Besides Vidarbha situation, the cabinet discussed the grim situation arising out of unseasonal rains that continue intermittently in different parts of the state, including Mumbai, well after the monsoon, and as in Vidarbha and Marathwada well ahead of the winter showers.
Chavan said that he had sought a report on the damage to kharif crops due to the untimely rains.
The reports would be submitted by the guardian ministers of each district and the local administration, after which appropriate action would be initiated, he said.
The names of the guardian ministers and contact ministers for all districts would be announced shortly, he added.
Chavan also announced that the forthcoming winter session of the Maharashtra legislature would begin in Nagpur from Dec 1.
At the cabinet meeting, Chavan urged all the newly sworn-in ministers to work as a united team for the welfare of the state and the people.
He pointed out that people have great expectations from the government and they must strive to live up to these.
After over two years, Chavan revived the practice of a media briefing post-cabinet meeting, discontinued by former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
However, Chavan made it clear that the media briefing would be confined to issues discussed in the cabinet and not other matters.