Maharashtra: CM Eknath Shinde performs bhoomipujan for developmental projects in Bhandara; emphasis on water tourism project

24 June,2024 10:35 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

Out of Rs. 547 crore, Rs. 102 crore will be allocated to water tourism projects, said an official release

CM Eknath Shinde at the bhoomipujan in Bhandara. Pic/ X

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde performed Bhoomipujan for development projects worth Rs 547 crore in Bhandara district on Monday.

Out of Rs. 547 crore, Rs. 102 crore will be allocated to water tourism projects, said an official release. He expressed confidence that these initiatives will significantly boost tourism in the district and create substantial employment opportunities.

The Chief Minister announced that he would approve the plan to increase water tourism in the Wainganga reservoir and declare a public holiday on the occasion of Baba Jumdev's birth anniversary (April 3), which is a place of worship for devotees.

Chief Minister Shri Eknath Shinde performed Bhoomipujan for various development projects, including the first phase of the Water Tourism Centre. As per the official release, the proposed water tourism project will be located at Maundi in Bhandara and includ tourism facilities like swimming pool, artificial lake, information centre, conference halls, etc.

Other developmental projects include Underground Drainage Scheme, beautification of lakes at Bhandara and Pavani under the Amrit Yojana, road construction work under the Urban Development Campaign, special scheme works under Bhandara and Pavani Municipal Councils, various development works in Bhandara and Pavani Municipal Councils under the District Planning Committee, various facilities at the District Sports Complex Bhandara, and various works under the Public Works Department.

MLA Narendra Bhondekar, Inspector General of Police Chering Dorje, Collector Yogesh Kumbhejkar, Chief Executive Officer of District Council Sameer Kurtakoti and Superintendent of Police Lohit Matani also presided over the occasion.

Investigate issue at DPS lake in Navi Mumbai, CM Eknath Shinde asks UD dept

Responding to pleas by green groups to save the 30-acre DPS Flamingo Lake at Nerul in Navi Mumbai from being allegedly buried by CIDCO for commercial gains, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has asked the Urban Development Department to investigate the issue.

Non-profit NatConnect Foundation had requested the CM's intervention to transfer the lake to Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) for conservation. A proposal from NMMC for conserving the lake in association with BNHS is already pending with CIDCO. NatConnect director BN Kumar, therefore, urged CM Shinde to have the proposal cleared quickly.

The CM directed Aseem Gupta, principal secretary, UD-1, to take appropriate action on the issues raised by NatConnect Foundation, including the choking of tidal water inlets to the lake thus rendering it dry.

The lake supports biodiversity and is a home to thousands of flamingos, Kumar informed the CM. Moreover, CIDCO has allegedly violated the stipulation imposed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the State Forest Department not to interfere with the free flow of tidal water while destroying 0.46 hectares of mangroves for the passenger water transport terminal at Nerul, Kumar said.

Though CIDCO itself had given an undertaking under the Forest Conservation Act that the water flow would not be affected, the main channel on the southern end of the lake was blocked, which has been confirmed by the Forest Department inspection. Under pressure, NMMC opened a couple of blocks and water started flowing into the lake, but CIDCO took umbrage and filed a complaint with the NRI Coastal Police against the civic body. This has been confirmed by CIDCO's complaint to the police. Meanwhile, CIDCO put up a notice at the DPS Flamingo Lake proclaiming that trespassers will be prosecuted.

"We are happy that the CMO has responded quickly, and we shall follow-up with the UD through the RTI route," Kumar said. mid-day reached out to CIDCO, but there was no response until the time of going to press.

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