New Delhi: Centre has allowed release of Rs 32 crore to Uttar Pradesh as a special case to mitigate "acute drought like situations" due to deficiency in rainfall, particularly in Bundelkhand region.
Official sources said Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari allowed the allocation to the Samajwadi Party-ruled state as first instalment under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme by relaxing conditions linking the funds with progress under the national sanitation programme for construction of toilets and sewage treatment in rural areas.
They said the Uttar Pradesh government, which could not meet the required conditions of construction of rural toilets and treatment of sewage water in the state, had written a letter to the Ministry recently stating that "the state is facing acute drought like situations due to deficiency in rainfall, particularly in the Bundelkhand region of the states" and that "funds are urgently required to continue the ongoing works as well as to carry out emergency mitigation measures".
The letter had further said that "in view of the above, it is requested that the first instalment of NRDWP may kindly be released to Uttar Pradesh", sources said.
They said the release of funds under the NRDWP is linked with the progress under the national sanitation programme for construction of toilets and sewage treatment in rural areas.
Officials in the Rural Development Ministry said the Uttar Pradesh government has admitted that "out of spent balance of Rs 43911.43 lakh as on April 1, this year, a sum of Rs 39521.28 lakh only has been actually utilised with effect from April 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014".
However, this expenditure has not been entered on the Integrated Management Information Systems (IMIS) as progress report entry link on IMIS was disabled during this period, they added.