Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to relax the Model Code of Conduct in drought-hit areas of Maharashtra. A letter has been sent to the ECI apprising it of grave situation prevailing in many areas.
In the letter Fadnavis had stated that voting for the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra have completed on April 29 and if Model Code of Conduct is relaxed government will be able to take various initiatives and complete developmental projects to tackle drought.
“In view of the extreme summer faced by people in Maharashtra, ongoing programmes under State/GOI funding and works to be undertaken as per statutory requirement, the ECI is requested to relax the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct,” the letter read.
“There are a number of infrastructure works such as drilling of bore wells, repairs to drinking water schemes, irrigation canal maintenance works etc. which need to be taken up during the extreme summer,” the letter stated.
It is pertinent to note here that the Stat government has declared 151 tehsils as drought affected and Central government has provided ₹4714 cr for undertaking developmental works to tackle drought. Fadnavis is mulling to call an urgent Cabinet meeting on the drought issue at the earliest.
Fadnavis has also listed various works which are needed to be undertaken immediately in Maharashtra like inviting tenders, evaluation and finalisation of bids, entering into contracts and grounding the works planned in the annual works plan of the departments which have to be completed in a time bound manner.
Fadnavis has also urged the ECI to permit review and implementation of ongoing programmes.
He has assured the ECI that the reviews will be limited to those officers who are not on
election duty Fadnavis has also sought permission for tours of ministers in drought-hit areas.
The letter also cited that the ECI has considered similar requests in the past vide
their guidelines 437/INST/2009/CC&BE dated 26-4-2009. A favourable decision by ECI will enable the State Government to continue drought relief works more effectively.