Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Monday clarified that many parts of the state have received scanty rainfall which is less than average. In this backdrop, the Union government has to manage the drought situation in all the states of the nation. Considering the mandatory index and the impact index factors mentioned in the ‘Drought Management Manual-2016’ published by the Union government, the Relief and Rehabilitation department had initiated the process of declaring the drought for Kharif season-2023. The clarification was issued in response to criticism from opposition parties that there was 'political bias' in declaring drought.
On October 31, the government had declared a drought in 40 tehsils across 15 districts.
While declaring ‘drought’, all the parameters are based on scientific factors and the survey of the drought has been carried out by the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre (MRSAC), Nagpur. There is no human intervention in the drought declaration for the year 2023. All the parameters are the same as those implemented in the year 2018.
Drought declared in 40 tehsils
Drought has been declared in 40 taluka across the state for the Kharif season 2023. The factors considered during June-September period include scarcity of rainfall, paucity of available groundwater, vegetation index, moisture of soil, area under sowing and condition of crops. Considering the possibility of disaster in talukas affected by the above factors, the state government has declared severe drought in 24 talukas and moderate drought in 16 talukas of 15 districts of the state.
The state cabinet has directed the minister for Relief, rehabilitation and disaster management to immediately conduct meeting of the sub-committee formed under his chairmanship and take stock of the lack of sufficient rainfall in the circles of other talukas and accordingly take decision about declaring drought-like situation after due concentration of the various parameters which can help in providing various facilities to these hamlets.