Ex-CM’s son leads mission to make Latur drought-free

Ex-CM Vilasrao Deshmukh’s son leads mission to make Latur drought-free

He has helped farmers to get pending dues of over Rs 100 crore in lieu of the land they gave away for road development

Dhiraj is an MLA from Latur Rural, while his older brother Amit Deshmukh is MLA from Latur City and is Minister of Medical Education and Culture in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Credit: DH

Late Congressman and ex-Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s son Dhiraj Deshmukh has initiated a mission to make his home district of Latur drought-free.

Vilasrao Deshmukh was one of the tallest politicians from the Marathwada region of Maharashtra and had also served as a minister in the Dr Manmoham Singh government.

Dhiraj is an MLA from Latur Rural, while his older brother Amit Deshmukh is MLA from Latur City and is Minister of Medical Education and Culture in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Their brother and actor Riteish Deshmukh is also involved in various social projects.

“Farmers are the core constituency and water scarcity is the biggest problem,” Dhiraj said.A first-time MLA, he has initiated extensive tree plantation drives in Latur to keep the green cover dense and flourishing. Besides, he is also focusing on renewable energy generation specifically in the field of solar power.

“In Latur, we are countering adverse climate conditions despite the region having rain shadow characteristics. Water scarcity is a major issue in my constituency and we do not get adequate or timely seasonal rainfall. We are continually fighting the drought cycles and at times, we get untimely rains which end up creating huge crop losses. No prizes for guessing this is symptomatic of climate change. I am aware that we must on one hand ensure enough water for everyone and on the other take care of the imbalances in the environment,” he said.

Dhiraj said his focus hence has remained on solving the drinking water problem in my constituency by building a network of linkages between Ujani dam in Western Maharashtra and Latur.

“We are also working towards raising the height of the Medium project and when approved, this will benefit the farmers. Recently, we were able to repair Shivni Barrage at war footing and it is now safe and brimming with water,” he said.

Dhiraj Deshmukh in the last one year, has got over Rs 200 crore of development funds approved for various works in the constituency which include infrastructural development and road building. 

To make sure that progress does not come at the cost of land rights, he has helped farmers to get pending dues of over Rs 100 crore in lieu of the land they gave away for road development.

An Independent Command Area Development Authority Office has been opened by Amit Deshmukh, who is also the Guardian Minister of Latur.

“The water from the Renapur Medium Project in The taluka was also made available to the farmers. Additionally, we have been   funding various rural development schemes and distributing fertilizers and seeds to help farmers during this tough period. Latur is a very-well known commodity Market and we are also trying to boost up the agro-processing industry which will benefit the local farmers and help create new jobs for local talent,” he said.