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PTI Mumbai
Updated: 31-10-2018 21:18 IST

On a day the Maharashtra

government declared drought in 26 of total 36 districts, the

opposition Congress Wednesday accused the ruling dispensation

of "delay" in making the announcement, which it said might

deprive the state of the Central funds.

As per an order issued by the government, 112 talukas

in the state are facing severe drought and 39 talukas a

moderate drought.

Senior Congress leader and former chief minister

Prithviraj Chavan also alleged the state government had failed

to abide by the "2016 Central drought manual" under which it

is supposed to notify Kharif drought by October 30.

"As per the manual, the state governments have to

declare drought through a notification specifying clearly the

geographical extent and administrative units such as gram

panchayats, blocks, mandals, talukas, sub-division and


"Such notification should indicate the level of

severity of the drought (moderate or severe)," he said.

Chavan, who had served as the chief minister between

November 2010 to September 2014, said the declaration of

Kharif drought should be done by October 30 and that of Rabi

drought by March 31.

"The state governments will declare the calamity as

drought and not by any other nomenclature," he said.

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)

had accused the BJP-led government of shirking its

responsibility by not declaring drought and hiding behind

vague terminology such as "drought-like" or "scarcity-like"


He said the Maharashtra government had issued an

order, dated October 7, 2017 listing a procedure and time

table that is supposed to be followed while declaring drought.

"Instead of implementing this procedure, the

government is busy celebrating its fourth anniversary in

office. Andhra Pradesh had declared drought on August 8 and

Karnataka on September 14. The two states have already started

implementing drought-relief measures," Chavan said.

He questionned whether the delay in declaring drought

was due to "lack of funds" in the state exchequer.

"Doesn't it (the government) know that the Central

funds will not be received due to delay in declaring drought.

Who will be responsible if farmers take any extreme steps in

the wake of such a crisis," Chavan questionned.

The NCP also slammed the state government for delay in

declaring drought.

"As many as 100 talukas in the state are still reeling

under drought," alleged Leader of Opposition in the

Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde, hours after the drought

was announced.

He demanded a compensation at Rs 50,000 per hectare

for farmers who suffered crop loss due to drought.

Munde's counterpart in the Legislative Assembly and

senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil also echoed

the same demands.

Maharashtra state Congress president Ashok Chavan said

the government was "compelled" to declare drought because of

the pressure being exerted by his party.

He said 20,000 village in 201 talukas are reeling

under drought.

Chavan demanded "concrete steps" for drought


(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)