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Drought-like situation in Maharashtra: CM Fadnavis

Fadnavis said a central government team will soon visit the state and declare financial assistance to deal with the situation.

SNS | New Delhi |

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said that around 180 talukas in the state are facing a drought-like situation. These talukas were identified on the basis of norms laid down by the Centre, he said, adding the situation has arisen as the state received only 77 per cent of its average rainfall this year.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “There is definitely a drought-like situation in 180 of the total 350 talukas in Maharashtra. The government will publish a Government Resolution (GR) so that the concerned departments can immediately implement relief measures to tackle the situation”.

Farmers from across the state have sought emergency help. According to media reports, distressed farmers came to Mumbai demanding drought declaration and seeking relief from the state.

The opposition Congress slammed the BJP-led government over the issue, saying it should straightway declare drought in the state and stop using terminologies like “scarcity-like” or a “drought-like” to describe the situation.

The state has more than 350 talukas spread across 36 districts.

Fadnavis had told reporters that relief measures being undertaken by the state government include concession in land revenue, educational fees, continued power supply for agriculture pumps and deploying tankers for supplying drinking water in the talukas (an administrative unit in a district) facing water scarcity.

Fadnavis said a central government team will soon visit the state and declare financial assistance to deal with the situation.

Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan Tuesday asked the Fadnavis government to declare drought in the state and immediately provide financial assistance to tackle the situation.

“The state government should straightway announce ‘drought’ and stop the word play wherein it is using terms like ‘scarcity-like’ or ‘drought-like’,” the former chief minister told reporters here.

He said the situation in the state is grim. Farmers have lost their kharif (summer) crops, while sowing for rabi (winter) season is severely affected.

“Irrespective of this, ministers are busy in jugglery of words such as ‘scarcity-like’ and ‘drought-like’ situation,” Chavan said.

He demanded urgent setting up of cattle sheds and deployment of water tankers in the affected areas.

(With agency inputs)