Development works in a Maharashtra village adopted by cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar have been delayed with the authorities attributing it to the Model Code of Conduct being in force for the local bodies polls. Tendulkar, a Rajya Sabha member, had sanctioned over Rs 4 crore from his MPLAD funds for the development of Donja village in Osmanabad district under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
However, the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct, which was in force for a couple of months for the municipal and zilla parishad elections, delayed the works in the village, a senior district official said. “There has been no delay from Tendulkar’s side in disbursal of funds,” Osmanabad Zilla Parishad Chief Executive Officer Anand Rayate told PTI.
“We have also appointed a special block development officer to oversee the development works in Donja,” he added.
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“We received Rs 4.04 crore from Tendulkar’s MPLAD funds through the Mumbai suburban collector’s office in February- March,” said Rayate. The amount was meant for the construction of a new school building, a water supply scheme, concrete roads and a sewage line, the IAS officer added.
Tendulkar’s representative Sunandan Lele held a meeting with the villagers and district officials in October to discuss the issues related to the development of Donja, said Ayush Prasad, the Assistant District Collector of Osmanabad.
The initial response to the tenders floated for the various works was “poor”, he said, adding that the administration had opted to float them afresh. “Once the (tender) process is over, we plan to conclude the works before monsoon,” said Prasad.
Tendulkar had announced Donja as his second adopted village last year, after successfully completing the first phase of development in Puttamraju Kandriga village in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. Osmanabad has been facing droughts for the last couple of years.
Of the 563 toilets proposed to be built in Donja, the construction work for 202 has been completed, said Prasad, adding that Tendulkar had even sent 16 ceiling fans for the new school building. While getting the sanctions for all the works took about a month, the Model Code of Conduct for the zilla parishad and civic council polls held up the works for around two more months as many officials were deployed on election duty, he said.
“These were national-level tenders. E-tenders were floated. However, only one person applied in the first round. We then initiated the process of re-tendering,” added Prasad. Tendulkar also sent a team of the Jain Irrigation company for planning micro-irrigation works in the village, he said.
“We are also training the members of the village self- help groups in garment manufacturing and food processing. The groups have 220 women members,” added Prasad.