Pune Crisis: Central Team Declares 'Drought-Like Situation' In 75 Circles

Pune Crisis: Central Team Declares 'Drought-Like Situation' In 75 Circles

The teams were briefed at the divisional commissioner's office of Pune before their visit to Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Jalna, Beed, Dharashiv, Pune, Solapur, Nasik and Jalgaon districts.

Gunwanti ParasteUpdated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 03:32 PM IST
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Pune Crisis: Central Team Declares 'Drought-Like Situation' In 75 Circles |

Due to a rainfall deficit, a Central government delegation visited Pune division to assess the severity of losses faced by farmers in the state. "Drought-like situations" were declared in 75 out of 156 circles in Pune district and 100 out of 110 circles in Solapur district, as reported by Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao.

A state-level review meeting at the Divisional Commissioner's office addressed crop losses during the Kharif season due to drought conditions on Tuesday. Priya Ranjan, head of the central team and joint secretary of the central government's agriculture department, underscored collaborative efforts with farmers, public representatives, and officials to provide relief to citizens in drought-affected areas.

In attendance were Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar Divisional Commissioner Madhukar Ardad, Agriculture Commissioner Dr Praveen Gedam, Animal Husbandry Commissioner Hemant Vasekar, and other officials. The meeting aimed to assess actual crop damage through visits to drought-affected areas, with the central team inspecting and gathering information within two days.

Teams briefed at Pune divisional office

The teams was briefed at the divisional commissioner's office of Pune before their visit to Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Jalna, Beed, Dharashiv, Pune, Solapur, Nasik and Jalgaon districts.

Ranjan highlighted the impact of average sowing in drought-affected areas, citing production challenges due to rainfall variations and groundwater concerns.

Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao's presentation outlined the drought situation, noting significant rainfall disparities in Pune and Solapur districts. Extended dry days affected Kharif crop growth and diminished the rabi area, with severe drought conditions in Baramati and Purandar talukas. Solapur's Barshi, Sangola, and Malshiras talukas faced severe drought, while Madha and Karmala talukas experienced moderate drought. Drought status was declared in 75 circles in Pune and 100 circles in Solapur.

Concerns about decreasing rabi area and fodder availability prompted initiatives like Jalyukta Shivar and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Water conservation efforts, including the Vanrai Dam, were underway. Rao highlighted the impact on Solapur district due to low water storage in the Ujani dam. Under the Pradhan Mantri Crop Bima Yojana, Rs 35.37 crore was demanded in Pune district, and Rs 86.68 crore in Solapur.

Areas affected

Agriculture Commissioner Dr Gedam's presentation detailed the agricultural effects of drought, including decreased production of sorghum, millet, moong, urad, and sunflower. Severe drought was observed in 24 talukas across 10 districts, while 7 districts experienced moderate drought in 16 talukas. Of the 53.97 lakh hectares of Rabi, only 36.37 lakh hectares were sown, affecting 24.76 lakh hectares of drought-affected areas.

Animal Husbandry Commissioner Hemant Wasekar highlighted the substantial fodder and water requirements for livestock in 40 talukas over the next 6 months. Dr. Amit Saini, Ranjankar, Pavneet Kaur, Hanmantrao Gunale, and Rajesh Deshmukh provided additional information during the meeting.

The proceedings were attended by district officers and officials from other drought-prone areas through television broadcasts.

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