CHIEF MINISTER Devendra Fadnavis on Friday warned district cooperative banks against diverting funds for drought relief to settle crop loans of farmers.
At a drought review meeting held in Mumbai for Nashik, Solapur and Ahmednagar districts, Fadnavis said he has received complaints that after compensation is credited to the bank accounts of drought-hit farmers, the banks are deducting the outstanding amount that the same farmers owe towards crop loans.
Asking district authorities to act on drought mitigation proposals within 48 hours, the CM said: “The compensation is meant for farmers who have faced crop loss. District cooperative banks should not divert these funds to settle outstanding crop loans.”
Late evening, a Congress delegation met Governor C H Vidyasagar Rao, asking him to intervene and direct the Fadnavis government to take immediate drought relief measures.
The state Congress will set up teams to tour drought-affected areas of the state from May 12-20, the party’s state unit chief Ashok Chavan. “The drought situation is very serious. But the state government has been found lacking in taking adequate relief measures. Therefore, we met the Governor. We urged him to direct the government to take immediate relief measures in drought-affected talukas,” Chavan told mediapersons.
Maintaining that drought was declared in October last year, Chavan said: “During the Lok Sabha polls, the state government completely neglected drought-affected areas. There was no hurdle of election code of conduct for drought relief. The chief minister declared drought on time, but did not take subsequent measures to provide relief to the people.”
“The PM had said due to Jalyukt Shivar, more than 16,000 villages were drought free. Then what is this drought?
Out of the 1.33 crore animals in the state, only 9 lakh have been taken care of,” he claimed.
The delegation also included senior leaders like Prithviraj Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat, Manikrao Thakre, Naseem Khan, Basavraj Patil Murumkar, Harshvardhan Patil and Madhurkar Chavan.
Earlier, state NCP president Jayant Patil had attacked Fadnavis for using the audio-conferencing system to tackle drought. “We wonder what kind of method the CM is using to reach out to drought-hit people. Sitting in AC rooms, the CM is using the audio-conferencing system to communicate with villages and officials. Now, one expected the government to be on field to access the ground reality and take action.”