Taking a cue from the Prime Minister's initiative for development of rural India, Maharashtra will soon have its own programme under which state legislators would adopt and develop a village of their choice.
The state government has sent a communication to all 289 MLAs and 78 MLCs, asking them to submit by August 15 the list of villages that they would like to adopt, Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last year launched the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana on Independence Day under which each MP was to adopt and develop a model village.
"Like the central government's scheme, we have decided to initiate our own scheme called the 'Amdar Adarsh Gram Yojana' (MLA model village scheme) wherein elected representatives will be responsible for the development of their villages. These villages can become role models for further development of other villages," Munde told reporters here.
As per the 2011 census, there are 43,665 villages in Maharashtra out of which 40,960 are inhabited. Besides, out of the total 11.23 crores population of the state, 61.6 million stay in rural areas and 50.8 million in urban areas.
The most populated districts in the state are Thane(9.8 per cent), Pune (8.4 per cent) and Mumbai suburban (8.3 per cent). Munde said the aim of the scheme is to make the villages self-reliant in all aspects and to take the pressure off the cities.
"The scheme is aimed at ensuring development in respect of health, underground water supply, underground drainage systems, hospitals and education," she said.
Once legislators identify a village of their choice, they will be provided training in developing it, she said.
"Gram sabhas, sarpanch and others who play a vital role in the development of villages today will continue to do so in future as well. The only addition will be that an elected representative will ensure that state government's schemes reach people on the ground and the development progresses with a focused approach," the minister said.
Until now there was no proper focused development of the villages and hence, there was wastage of government funds, she added.