The Maharashtra government has declared drought in 151 talukas of the state. Of these, severe drought has been declared in 112 talukas while 39 talukas were placed under “medium drought” category. There are 355 talukas in Maharashtra. Marathwada and Vidarbha regions are worst-hit in the state.
As the Devendra Fadnavis government completes four years in power, the farmers would be given relief in the form of farm loans waivers, land revenue exemptions, 33.5% concessions on electricity bills of agriculture pumps, deployment of water tankers and exemptions on fees for farmers’ children in schools and colleges among others.
The government’s drought-mitigation measures, which were scaled up from October 31, will continue for the next six months till April. Directives have been issued to officials not to relax relief measures in these talukas.
However, former chief minister criticised the move in his tweet saying, “Massive public response to the Jan Sangharsh Yatra has forced the government to finally declare drought in Maharashtra. 20,000 villages in 201 talukas are drought hit. But drought has been declared only in 151 talukas. When will drought be declared in the remaining 50 talukas?”
The government took the decision to declare almost 40% of the state as drought-hit after conducting surveys to assess the amount of crop loss at the ground level.
The state meteorological department earlier this year had predicted a good monsoon as it rained heavily till June but post that month rainfall has been scarce and scanty. Farmers suffered huge losses due to vagrant monsoon, and had been asking for state relief for few months now.