THE 182 talukas of the state, which have been declared drought-prone by the government on Tuesday, comprise around 18,000 of the total 40,913 villages in Maharashtra.
Moreover, the government resolution issued in this regard on Tuesday had replaced the word “scarcity” with “drought” to expedite relief work in these villages.
Also, this time, unlike the usual practice, both at the Centre and the state, drought has been declared in October instead of January.
Speaking to mediapersons, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said: “There cannot be any ambiguity about reaching out help to people in crisis. The government has appraised the Centre of the ground reality. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured that Maharashtra will get assistance in tackling drought.”
Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said: “In 2011 and 2012, the number of villages declared drought-prone were 6,201 and 3,356, respectively.”
Leader of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, meanwhile, demanded immediate financial help for farmers in the drought-affected villages.
“The government should provide compensation of Rs 50,000 per hectare for crop loss. The so-called scientific guidelines of the Centre will lead to delay and does not serve the people facing hardship,” he said.