New Delhi: Although the miseries of farmers in the Bundelkhand region continue to compound with every passing day, the Centre and state governments are yet to break the ice on the smoldering issue.

On the initiative of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, the UPA government announced a relief package of Rs 7,266 crore for the seven districts of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and six Madhya Pradesh (MP) districts covered under the Bundelkhand region. But both the states have failed to utilize the funds allotted by the Central Government.

Miffed over the issue, Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) have raised the queries over the utilization of the massive fund.

The Congress has blamed Mayawati government for ignoring Bundelkhand, while SP has sought a CBI probe into the utilization of funds.

The issue was raised in a review meeting attended by top brass of Plan Panel and parliamentarians on Friday.
Union Minister of State for Planning, Ashwani Kumar said “Against the additional sanctioned amount of Rs 800 crore for Bundelkhand, UP government has submitted the utilization certificate for only Rs 73 crore by March 31.”

SP parliamentarian from Banda RK Patel said, “The government officials have misused the funds allocated for the development of Bundelkhand. Besides, they have also failed to prepare a concrete plan to face the drought situation in the region.”

Union Minister of State for Rural Development and Jhansi MP Pradeep Jain said the state government was not focusing on Bundelkhand fearing that the credit will go to Congress. The farmers should be given the option of one time settlement scheme to clear their debts, Jain added.

JPN/Bureau