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Maharashtra: Drought biggest challenge for state in 2019, says Devendra Fadnavis

The government has already declared 151 talukas out of a total 355 as drought-affected, but various districts are pressing the government to declare more talukas as drought-hit. The water scarcity coupled with crop loss has badly affected farmers.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
January 2, 2019 1:24:45 am
devendra fadnavis, maharashtra government, drought, water scarcity, mumbai news, indian express news Maharashtra government has decided to make additional financial provisions in the 2019-20 Budget to deal with the drought. (Source: File Photo)

CHIEF MINISTER Devendra Fadnavis feels that the biggest challenge for the Maharashtra government in the new year was tackling the drought the state was reeling under.

Outlining the achievements in 2018 and challenges in 2019, Fadnavis said, “The biggest challenge in 2019 for Maharashtra is drought. …the period March to June will bring major challenges on account of the severe drought.”

“The state government is fully aware of the magnitude of the problem,” he added.

Poor rainfall has adversely affected 50 per cent of Maharashtra, which has come under the shadow of drought. The government has already declared 151 talukas out of a total 355 as drought-affected, but various districts are pressing the government to declare more talukas as drought-hit. The water scarcity coupled with crop loss has badly affected farmers.

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Under a 10-point programme to tackle the water scarcity, the government has deployed teams of officials at the taluka-level. The government has also sought Rs 7,500 crore from the Centre to tackle the drought. But apart from the Centre’s financial aid, the

Maharashtra government has decided to make additional financial provisions in the 2019-20 Budget to deal with the drought.

While the drought poses the biggest administrative challenge for the state government, Fadnavis reckons that elections in 2019 to both the Lok Sabha and state Assembly remain the biggest political challenge. “In 2019, we will have Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

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Politically, elections always bring new challenges. Yet, I’m confident that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi we will perform well in both the elections.”

Notwithstanding the friction between the Shiv Sena and the BJP, Fadnavis exuded optimism citing the development work done by the government in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra with 48 Lok Sabha seats is the second largest after Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won 23 seats, Shiv Sena 18, Congress two, NCP four and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana one. Whereas, the tally for the 288 Assembly seats was: BJP 122 seats, Shiv Sena 63, Congress 42, NCP 41 and others 20. According to Fadnavis, the development work of the government both at the Centre and in the state would enable the party retain its leadership.

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Outlining the three major achievements of 2018, he said, “If we reflect on the last four years’ work, there are several achievements and policy reforms, adding, “the state government has done massive work in the infrastructure sector… The flagship jalyukt shivar projects…

The decision to give 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community is another big achievement.”

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First published on: 02-01-2019 at 01:24:45 am

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