Mayawati meets PM; seeks flood relief, approval of airport project

Monday, October 18, 2010

NEW DELHI - Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday to seek flood relief aid of Rs.2,351 crore, a special package for Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal regions and approval of the Taj International Airport (TIA) project.

During the meeting, which lasted more than an hour, Mayawati urged the prime minister to approve pending projects of the state and sanction Rs.5,962 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

Talking to reporters later, Mayawati said she had raised important issues concerning the state. The chief minister, who was accompanied by party MP Satish Chandra Misra, said the prime minister gave her an assurance that the state government’s demands will be considered seriously.

Mayawati said 12 districts in western Uttar Pradesh had been declared as disaster affected. She said a total of 5,959 villages in 33 districts had suffered losses due to floods, more than 8 lakh hectares of cultivable land had been affected and over 425 people had died.

The chief minister said though she had written letters to the prime minister on Sep 22 and Sep 29 to seek flood aid, no relief had been provided. She said the central government had also not bothered to send a team to assess the damage.

Mayawati said her government’s proposals of Rs.5,962 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana and Rs.9,700 crore under the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana had been pending with the central government.

Calling for special economic assistance for backward areas like Poorvanchal and Bundelkhand, she said the government had sought Rs.80,000 crore package for all-round development of the state.

She said the Rs.3,506 crore package announced by the central government for Bundelkhand was insufficient.

Mayawati expressed regret that the central government had not sanctioned the Taj International Airport (TIA) at Jewar though the state government had agreed to the central government’s suggestions on contractual obligations.

Mayawati said TIA was feasible under the Green Field Airport Policy 2008. She said another international was necessary for Delhi due to increasing flow of traffic at the existing airport. She said that second airports in 150-km radius had been approved for Navi Mumbai and Kannur.

Pointing out that the state government had decided to create an additional power generation capacity of 25,000 MW in the next seven years, she said the ministry of coal should allocate coal linkages for setting up thermal plants in the state.

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