Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday said that better planning and implementation would have lessened the impact of the drought in the state.
While talking to CNN-IBN, Chavan admitted to lapses and poor planning while dealing with the state's worst drought in 40 years. But assured that the relief money will reach the people who need it the most.
When asked if the drought situation in Maharashtra was natural or manmade calamity, Chavan said, "We have got almost 50 per cent or 60 per cent average rainfall which itself is very low. I don't accept that it's a manmade drought. Of course we should have planned better for such eventuality."
Here is the Transcript of the interview:
Rajdeep Sardesai: Is this drought situation in Maharashtra natural? Or is it really a manmade calamity?
Prithviraj Chavan: Last 2 years its running, we have got almost 50 per cent or 60 per cent average rainfall which itself is very low. I don't accept that it's a manmade drought; of course we should've planned better for such eventuality.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Over the last decade over 70,000 crore have been budgeted on irrigation projects in the state and the acreage of irrigated area increased by only 0.1 per cent. So the fear, sir, is that the money which was meant for irrigation projects for drinking water projects has been grossly misused.
Prithviraj Chavan: Well Rajdeep, yes that is the problem. The planning was definitely faulty. I think we started too many schemes, almost over 1 lakh crore worth of schemes was started maybe because of populist pressures and we were not able to complete most of them, and therefore there were cost over-runs, some of them 1000 per cent more cost runs. I think we should've resisted the pressure to start populist towards irrigation scheme and populist political pressure.