Mumbai, Oct 31: After the opposition clamour in the past few weeks, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday decided to declare a drought in 40 talukas which recorded low rains in the first phase of the Kharif season.
With this, the Centre will be requested to provide urgent help in the drought situation in those 40 talukas, as per a decision of the state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
The CM and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis also directed that a cabinet sub-committee headed by the Relief & Rehabilitation Minister should take the decision on priority to declare a ‘drought-like’ situation in the other talukas in the state with scanty rain and to provide the appropriate relief measures there.
The Relief & Rehabilitation Department also informed the status of the drought declaration in the review of the crop water situation taking into account the provisions of the Drought Management Code, 2016.
A delegation of the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi had called on Governor Ramesh Bais on Monday and submitted a memorandum listing various issues including the drought-like situation confronting large parts of the state that had led to distress in farmlands.
This year, the state had a rainfall shortage of 13.4 percent of the total annual average and now the Rabi season sowing has gradually begun, with around 12 percent of the work completed so far, according to the Agriculture Department.
In another important decision, the state will now provide assistance to victims of natural calamities to the extent of three hectares, up from the existing two hectares under the State Disaster Response Fund criteria. This year, between June-Oct. 2023, several natural calamities in the form of heavy rains and floods caused huge agricultural losses and assistance was provided up to two hectares, which has now been hiked to three hectares, proving a relief to the farmers.