THANE: The neglected shadow of Mumbai, Thane district, has been awarded a Rs 201-crore bonanza by the Democratic Front government for development work, to encourage sustainable economic growth and upgrade infrastructure in rural areas.
The amount allocated for the district’s development plan (2011-12) is the highest in the Mumbai metropolitan region. Mumbai city and suburban Mumbai were given a mere Rs 51 crore and Rs 133 crore respectively.
Finance minister Ajit Pawar tilted the scales in Thane’s favour, with close to50% development funds or about Rs 104 crore to be utilized in the rural heartland.
Officials said most of the funds have been earmarked for piped water schemes in rural areas, besides improving connectivity and the road network. “Priority has also been given to the completion of water supply schemes, digging of wells and funding of horticulture projects. In the urban sector, Rs 1 crore has been allocated to partly fund the upgrade of the Kalyan-Dombivli corporation’s fire brigade”
He said the development plan was the biggest in the last three years, a 100% jump from Rs 110 crore in 2009-10.
“Thane district fits the criteria for more funds from the state kitty, as barring the metropolitan pockets of Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayander, Kalyan-Dombvili and Vasai, other talukas are development-malnourished. The entire hilly region of Jawahar, Mokhada, Talasari and Murbad are virtually deprived, though there are funds coming from the tribal sub-plan,” a top bureaucrat said.
Another official said the government had ensured maximum funds for the widest range of beneficiaries in Thane district. “The Rs 201 crore is targeted for the district plan in general. However, this time, allocation for development work to be taken up exclusively in tribal areas and scheduled caste boroughs exceeds Rs 380 crore, taking the district’s total development plan to Rs 605 crore, the highest in the state,” the official said.Source: TOI