Mumbai: The Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis led Maharashtra on Tuesday declared drought situation in 180 talukas of the state. The list includes regions like Marathwada, Vidarbha and Northern Maharashtra. Orders on drinking water measures, children’s school fees rebate, settlement of farmers’ debt and the continuation of power connections for agriculture were also issued to cope with the drought situation. It is said that the central government will announce help to tide over the problem after inspection.
According to figures of the water resources department, Most parts of Marathwada had received average rainfall this monsoon and the water stock in the region stands at just 28.81 per cent. The Jayakwadi dam, considered lifeline of Marathwada, has around 45.88 per cent water stock as of earlier last month, compared to 87.63 per cent the same day last year. Out of nine major dams in the Marathwada region, two have dried up and there is an average 28.81 per cent water stock in the other dams. In the Amravati division of western Vidarbha, there is an average water stock of 57.37 per cent in dams, while in the Nagpur division in east Vidarbha, it is 50.02 per cent.
Earlier, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that around 200 talukas in Maharashtra are facing “scarcity-like” conditions where two senior ministers were asked to submit a report on this. The farmers, under the banner of Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti, had earlier written two letters to the IMD, alleging that because of the Met department’s inaccurate forecast they were facing losses.
Gangabhishan Thavre, one of the farmers, said the IMD had forecast 104 per cent of the average rainfall this year, but the Marathwada region (of which Beed district is a part) is facing a drought now. He said, “We trusted the forecast and on its basis, the sowing was carried out, but due to deficient rainfall, most farmers are facing losses.”