Jayant Patil – A devout follower of Satya Sai Baba

Faith moves budgetary allocations; Dehu development gets Rs 400 cr
20 Mar, 2008, 0519 hrs IST, TNN

MUMBAI: Jayant Patil is a pious man. A devout follower of Satya Sai Baba, Mr Patil in his budget has made pilgrimages even more attractive. Mr Patil has announced a Rs 400 crore development plan for Dehu, where the state’s most revered saint Tukaram breathed his last. He has similar, plan for other places of religious importance.

Incidentally February 2009 is the 400th birth centenary of Tukaram. To celebrate this occasion, ambitious area development programme would be undertaken at Dehu, Alandi, Bhandara Dongar and Pandharpur. Next year happens to be birth centenary of the Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj, another saint. Mr Patil has pledged government support for the celebrations.

Taking note of large number of people visiting religious places, the state government has decided to allocate more funds for providing necessary amenities. As against Rs 28.51 crore spent last year on strengthening infrastructure at religious places, an outlay of Rs 67.65 crore has been proposed for the year 2008-09.

Mr Patil’s budget doesn’t disappoint Lord Ganesh’s followers. Noting that Ashtavinayak temples have become important pilgrim and tourist centres where lakhs of devotees from all over the world visit every year, Mr Patil announced an outlay of Rs 10 crore to provide basic necessities at these pilgrim centres.

And as a secular person, the finance minister has something for Muslims brothers too. He has approved Rs 9.04 crore for the construction of Haj house at Nagour. This is besides a grant-in-aid of Rs 4 crore for the same.


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