THE Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday approved a Rs 369.78 crore development plan for the Lonar crater-lake, a notified national geo-heritage monument situated in Buldhana district.
The Bombay High Court had last year directed the Government to set up a development authority to preserve Lonar Lake, known as the only crater lake in the world formed by meteoric impact.
Development works will be implemented under the supervision of the Amravati divisional commissioner and will focus on the preservation of temples in the vicinity, wildlife protection, rehabilitation of encroachers and road development, an official release said here.
In other decisions, the cabinet -- which currently consists of only Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis -- decided that charge sheets filed in cases related to political and social agitations till march 2022 will be withdrawn.
A committee headed by the police commissioner and additional district collector will take a decision on withdrawing cases against students and educated jobless youngsters during the COVID-19 pandemic as they are facing problems during character scrutiny for the purpose of getting jobs or getting a passport, the release said.
The committee will decide on the withdrawal of cases where there had been no loss of life during the agitation and the damage to property did not exceed Rs 5 lakh.
It also approved a proposal to set up prepaid/smart meters for electricity consumers and strengthen the electricity distribution system.
Projects of the state discom Mahavitaran worth Rs 39,602 crore and those of Mumbai transport and electricity distribution undertaking BEST worth Rs 3,461 crore were greenlighted.
The Government aims to reduce technical and commercial losses by 12 to 15 per cent by 2024-25, the release said. The prepaid/smart meters will benefit 1.66 crore consumers.
The cabinet on Wednesday also approved an incentive of Rs 50,000 to farmers who regularly repay their crop loans.
About 14 lakh farmers will benefit by the decision which will cost the exchequer Rs 6,000 crore.
The benefit can also be availed of by farmers who faced losses in the 2019 floods and those who have already got loan waiver benefit on account of the natural calamity.