Will decide by October 31 if Maharashtra facing drought, Bombay High Court told

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Thursday informed the Bombay High Court, it will be taking final decision on declaring droughts in hundreds of talukas by October 31. A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Mahesh Sonak was informed that out of 201 talukas across Maharashtra, at least 180 are facing “drought-like situation.”

Government Pleader Abhinandan Vagyani informed the bench that the government had conducted survey in these 201 talukas.
“After conducting the survey, prima facie, we are of the opinion that these talukas are facing drought-like situations. However, we are awaiting reports from some talukas and will take the final decision after compiling all the reports,” Vagyani told the judges.

Having heard the submission, Justice Oka said, “So by when will you declare drought? Or shall we do so?”
“I can say that the final decision of declaring drought in these talukas might be done by or before October 31,” interrupted Vagyani.

The judges were further informed that even though the government is yet to arrive at a final conclusion, it has however, started undertaking remedial measures. “We have started remedial measures like waiving off loans of farmers, providing funds for education of their children, supplying water through tankers and even providing eatables,” Vagyani claimed.

The bench was seized with a plea filed by activist Sanjay Lakhe-Patil seeking setting up of independent disaster management units in all districts of Maharashtra. The bench has now posted the matter for further hearing on Thursday.

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