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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    December 13, 2007

    What to do with 400 cr? Build an airport for the President

    Amravati, in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, is all set to get a new airport, with a budget of Rs. 400 crores. But of course, it is just merely a coincidence that the incumbent President, Ms. Pratibha Patil, considers Amravati home by virtue of her marriage to Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat, a former mayor of Amravati. The Rashtrapati Bhavan is very quick to deny any sort of link.

    Vidarbha district is where, by government estimates & registered case counts, there have been nearly 2500 suicides from 2006, over 1000 of them this year. While I am all for infrastructure development, it seems very clear to me that the farmers in the region would probably benefit far more if the money was spent on efforts to improve roads, rail network, educating them on agricultural practices, better quality irrigation, educating the farmers to possibly consolidate their tiny land holdings to get greater returns for their efforts, helping them pick the right crops to plant in the right season and thereby reduce their dependence on rainfall, etc. Not 'packages' or subsidies. Certainly not an airport!

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