The state cabinet is in two minds on whether to allow the sugar mills in the drought-affected Marathwada region to go for crushing this season.
The agriculture, relief and rehabilitation minister Eknath Khadse has been strongly advocating a ban on crushing in mills in the area, but cooperatives minister Chandrakant Patil said no final decision had been taken on the matter. Speaking to The Indian Express, Patil said that the matter would come up for discussion before the state cabinet on Monday and a decision would be taken on it.
With Marathwada facing one of the worst droughts, availability of drinking water has become a major issue. Khadse had advocated that supply of water for cane fields and for crushing to the mills be stopped.
Overall, Maharashtra has seen a reduction in cane area by approximately 67,457 hectares in the season 2015-16. Nanded division has seen a dip of 32,260 hectares in cane area and Aurangabad has seen an increase of 3,235 hectares in cane area.