Maharashtra drought worse than expected, rues CM Fadnavis

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Mumbai, Dec 17: The drought situation in Maharashtra has turned out to be worse than earlier calculations, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday.

 The drought situation in Maharashtra has turned out to be worse than earlier calculations, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday.

As per previous estimates, 19,059 villages in 22 districts, mostly in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, were affected by drought, but now the figure has increased to 24,700 villages, he said.

"In view of this, we will submit a revised memorandum of the drought relief demands to the central government soon. I met the inter-ministerial central team members who also toured some of the affected areas. We informed them that we will be seeking additional central assistance through the National Disaster Relief Fund," Fadnavis told media persons.

Among the relief immediately required was drinking and irrigation water, fodder for cattle and cheap foodgrain for the affected population, he said.

Since February, the central government has allocated 375,133 tonnes of foodgrain per month to Maharashtra under the National Food Security Act, besides an additional 398,700 tonnes for those who could not be covered under the NFSA.

However, union Minister of State for Agriculture Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya informed parliament recently that the state government has not made any fresh request for allotment of an additional quota of foodgrain for drought relief in the current year.

IANS

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