Assuring farmers that they were top priority of the government, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that steps would be taken to ensure there is no shortage of fodder, power and water supply through tankers in drought-hit districts of Marathwada, which Fadnavis and his cabinet ministers toured on Friday to take stock of the situation ahead of summer.
Following a three-hour meeting with cabinet ministers and top officials, Fadnavis announced a Rs 561-crore package for strengthening sustained power supply in eight districts of Marathwada to help the agriculture sector. He said the government will procure fodder from Konkan region to ensure there was no fodder shortage in drought-hit districts of Marathwada, Vidarbha, parts of North and Western Maharashtra.
While new fodder camps would be set up, deployment of water tankers would be scaled up, he said At present there are 1,799 tankers supplying water in Marathwada. Asserting that farmers were the highest priority of his government, he said that of the Rs 1,500 crore provided for immediate disbursement to farmers who suffered crop losses, Rs 1,000 crore has been spent and the remaining Rs 500 crore relief would be given soon.
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He said, “The restructuring of loans will help us to bring a large number of farmers in the loan bracket despite losses incurred in kharif.”
This is also the first time the government is extending a huge power package for farmers and so far the entire power package in the state has never exceeded Rs 300 to 400 crore, he added.
Fadnavis allocated funds for several dams and irrigation works including Matota (24 crore) and Bhandarwadi (Rs 37 crore). The Latur corporation was given Rs 5 crore.