‘Central ministers from Madhya Pradesh should help state get due’

February 22nd, 2009 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Itarsi (Madhya Pradesh), Feb 22 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Sunday urged the central ministers belonging to the state to exercise their influence to “end the discrimination” the state faced in allotment of coal and foodgrains and in other fields.
Talking to newsmen on the second day of his ‘Nyay Yatra’ (March for Justice), which he began from Bhopal Saturday, Chouhan said he would also be writing separate letters in this connection to all the four central ministers - Arjun Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kantilal Bhuria and Kamal Nath - belonging to the state.

Chouhan, who said his yatra was to highlight discrimination by the centre on the issue of coal allotment, reduction in foodgrains quota for BPL (below poverty line) families, lesser allocation of funds under Indira Awas Yojna and lack of assistance for drought-affected areas in the state, charged the centre with “doing injustice to my state and its people for the past one and a half years.”

Expressing concern over the advertisement of the Coal Ministry in today’s newspapers about auction of coal, Chouhan said that on the one hand, the ministry was not providing the state enough coal for power plants and on the other, it was contemplating to auction the same.

The chief minister said that the state required 1.75 million tonne coal for its three thermal power plants and this has also been accepted by the Central Electricity Authority but the quota of the state was fixed at 1.35 million tonne by the Coal Linkage Committee.

Out of this also, Chouhan said the state was getting just 1.1 million tonne coal and had to purchase power worth Rs.150 to 200 crore (Rs.1.5 to two billion), on an average, every month to fulfil the demand of power required by the farmers.

“Similarly, it (the central government) was also discriminating against the state in providing foodgrains for BPL families. Against 61 lakh (6.1 million) BPL families, it was providing foodgrains only for 41 lakh (4.1 million) BPL families. Also, not a single paisa was received for drought relief though the state distributed relief worth Rs.500 crore (Rs.five billion) from its own resources,” said Chouhan.

The railways ministry too was not heeding the state’s request for providing rakes to transport water to Ujjain and Dewas despite several requests to Railways Minister Lalu Prasad, Chouhan alleged.

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