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Maharashtra govt declares 'drought' in 29,000 villages

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had also recently sought increased funding several Centre schemes in the state.

In this April 12, 2016 photo, children carry water for use at home at Panch Amber village, 140 kilometers (87 miles) north-east of Mumbai, India. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) In this April 12, 2016 photo, children carry water for use at home at Panch Amber village, 140 kilometers (87 miles) north-east of Mumbai. (Source: AP)

Maharashtra government has declared drought in over 29,000 villages of the state, most of them in parched Marathwada and Vidarbha regions.

The government on Wednesday issued a corrigendum clarifying that wherever reference is made to a ‘drought-like situation’, it would be read as ‘drought’.

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The government had earlier this month given an assurance to the Bombay High Court in this regard.

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“The state government has already taken drought relief measures in villages where the anewari (proportion of failed crops) is below 50 paise in Kharif and Rabi season. Nevertheless, in future, all instances of villages where the government has mentioned drought-like situation, the reference to the situation will be called as drought,” stated a government resolution issued on Wednesday.

In the wake of acute water shortage in various parts of Maharashtra, the state government had informed the High Court that it would declare drought in over 29,000 villages in the state and all relief prescribed in the Drought Manual, 2009 would be provided.

The government, in its reply to a batch of PILs on water shortage issue, had told the court that it would issue a corrigendum and clarify that wherever reference is made to a ‘drought-like situation’ and ‘drought-affected areas’, the same should be read as ‘drought’.

The affidavit said the government was strictly implementing various schemes and taking measures to mitigate the water scarcity in drought-hit areas, and more particularly in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions.

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Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had also recently sought increased funding several Centre schemes in the state. He had, however, declined to share information on how much money the state has sought from the Centre.

Fadnavis also said that the state government had chalked out a plan to tackle drought situation in Marathwada and Vidarbha, which includes creation of a “guaranteed irrigation” plan over the next 2-3 years.

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First published on: 12-05-2016 at 16:23 IST
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