180 Mah talukas facing drought-like situation: CM

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 24 Oct 2018 08:45:06




The situation has arisen as the State received only 77 pc of its average rainfall this year, says Mah CM Devendra Fadnavis

AROUND 180 talukas in Maharashtra are facing a drought-like situation, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday. 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.

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.

“A situation of drought has developed in Maharashtra. The State has received only 77 per cent of its average annual rainfall. I have declared 180 talukas to be facing a drought-like situation as per the norms of the Centre and immediate measures are being taken in view of the situation,” Fadnavis told reporters after a weekly state Cabinet meeting here. The State has more than 350 talukas spread across 36 districts. He said 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. Asked about the Opposition’s criticism over a Water Resources Department report, which stated that the groundwater level in 14,000 villages across 252 talukas has gone down by at least a metre, he said the State has received insufficient rainfall in the last three years.

He rejected the Congress criticism of the Government’s flagship water conservation scheme, ‘Jalyukt Shivar’, and noted farmers have worked hard to make it a success.  The Congress has alleged the scheme is beset with corruption and despite its implementation, groundwater levels have dropped alarmingly in the State.

“The Congress is insulting farmers and villagers who toiled hard to make Jalyukt Shivar scheme a success and made their villages drought-free”.