Mumbai: There will be no dearth of issues for the state government in an election year — half the state is already reeling under drought. Taking an early call, CM Devendra Fadnavis has instructed all ministers to rush to drought-hit districts and 201 talukas, review the situation first-hand and submit reports by October 25.The state will then submit a memorandum to secure relief from the Centre.
“But we are not completely dependent on the Centre’s support. By the time we get funds from the Centre, the state will share and distribute financial help to drought-affected farmers,” said Chandrakant Patil, State Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation. On Tuesday, Fadnavis chaired a meeting which included the entire council of ministers, not just cabinet ministers, to discuss the severe drought situation in the state.
Nine districts are worst affected, according to agriculture department officials. Sadabhau Khot, Minister of State for Agriculture, said the cotton crop was most affected. So was soybean, tur, urad and moong. According to preliminary reports, the situation in 201 talukas in Yavatmal, Chandrapur, Nanded, Jalgaon, Gadchiroli, Nandurbar, Dhule, Satara and Sangli districts is alarming. In these districts, the yield in 141,255 hectares of was badly hit as the rain was below average, said the minister.