NCP president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at his official residence in Mumbai to discuss the prevailing drought situation. The meeting comes days after Pawar wrote to the CM over the drought condition and sought time for a meeting with him.
Pawar, in his letter, had urged the government to take necessary steps to alleviate one of the most severe droughts Maharashtra is facing since 1972. He had been touring the drought-hit talukas of the state since polling got over in Baramati on April 23.
At the meeting on Wednesday, sources said Fadnavis listed the measures that has been taken up by the government towards drought mitigation, including providing wheat at Rs 2 per kg and rice at Rs 3 per kg to all farmers in the 14 worst-hit districts, heavy subsidies for farmers, providing Rs 100 per cow and cattle (big animal) in cattle camps and supplying drinking water through tankers based on the 2018 population and not the 2011 Census.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “Pawarsahab had written to Fadnavis to highlight the severe drought condition in Maharashtra. He had also sought an appointment with the CM.”
Sources said Pawar urged Fadnavis to look into the demands for water tankers and cattle camps. He also highlighted the need to provide crop loss compensation to farmers and ensuring that their power supply is not disconnected.
“The NCP chief pointed even after implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013, villagers in drought-hit districts were being deprived of foodgrain. He also said that Rs 90 per animal given in cattle camps was inadequate…,” said a NCP leader. On the Dhangar community in Beed demanding that sheep and goat be given shelter in cattle camps, the CM assured that provisions can be made for the same, he added.
A NCP leader who accompanied Pawar said, “Our leader visited the drought-hit districts. Based on his experience, he wanted to share some issues with CM… The meeting was neither related to the Lok Sabha elections nor aimed at scoring political points.”