The Maharashtra cabinet on Tuesday gave its approval for the first phase of Rs 4293 crore Marathwada Water Grid Project to mitigate water woes in the region.
The first phase of the project will be implemented in Aurangabad and Jalna, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar told reporters after the meeting.
The council of ministers also gave a go ahead for the bidding process on the basis of hybrid annuity for setting up the water grid.
Marathwada, comprising eight districts, has traditionally been a low-rainfall area and the grid project aims to create an integrated piped network to supply water for drinking, industrial and agricultural purposes all through the year.
Mungantiwar also announced that employees of local self government bodies will receive benefits of the Seventh Pay commission.
"The government will bear the burden of Rs 409 crore annually (towards the salaries of these employees). The employees of municipal councils and panchayats will get their arrears of five years in instalments," he said.
In another decision, the state government will set up its own scheme to provide domestic gas connection.
Under this scheme, the government will provide Rs 3448 for every new gas connection to 40,000-50,000 families who do not get benefits of the Centre's Ujjwala scheme.
The Cabinet also approved implementation of three Metro railway routes.
"The cost for 20-km long Mumbai metro route 10 (Gaimukh-Shivaji Chowk in Mira Road) is Rs 4032 crore. The cost for 12-km metro route 11 (Wadala-CSMT) is Rs 6135 crore. The Kalyan-Taloja route no. 12 is 9 km-long," he said.
When asked about the demand for quota raised by the Lingayat community, the minister said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had given instructions to find out if the demand is within the framework of existing laws.
When asked about the decision of the Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM), which had spearheaded the quota campaign, to enter the fray for upcoming Maharashtra assembly polls, Mungantiwar said everybody has right to contest in democracy.
"The BJP will continue to work for the welfare of Marathas and other communities," he added.
Meanwhile, a statement from Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said the government's share for Hinjewadi-Shivajiagar Metro viability gap funding will be raised through the transfer of government land to the Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA).
The statement also announced to set up a separate police commissionarate for Mira-Bhayander and Vasai-Virar belts on the outskirts of Mumbai, which have seen a surge in population.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)