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
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
"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
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
Chavan demanded "concrete steps" for drought
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)