|The state government signed 34 memoranda of understanding (MoU) with private companies to give a much-needed push for several social projects in the state.|
Officials said through the MoUs, Rs 335 crore will be raised through corporate social responsibility, and will be used to fuel the flagship programme of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis: Village social transformation mission. Under the mission, the government aims to provide better healthcare, education and basic infrastructure in rural villages. The scheme was announced in August 2016 and through public-private partnership, the government hopes to transform 1,000 villages affected by drought or social challenges into model villages.
Officials said the MoUs will help build infrastructure for healthcare, education, animal care and water conservation, and will benefit 75 lakh people. "This is the biggest public-private partnership in the state. The projects will help change lives of the needy," said Fadnavis.
Officials said this was the first phase and it will take three years to complete.
The scheme hopes to raise social development indices of villages to the national best levels. For example, in the tribal belts, which are always in the news for malnutrition deaths, the scheme hopes to lift indices on poverty, doubling monthly farm income, literacy and learning, and reduce infant mortality.
"A foundation has been created to look after implementation of the schemes and it is being monitored by Fadnavis. The government has also pumped in funds for the foundation, to initiate several projects," said an official.