Twice as many villages as in 2012 affected this time
More areas in Maharashtra are to be officially declared drought-affected. Another 5,700 villages are to be added to the list of drought-hit areas, taking the total number of villages which lost more than 50 per cent crops to around 24,000. This figure is twice the number of villages affected by the 2012 drought in the state.
The findings have come to light in the final paisewari survey conducted by the State Revenue Department. The final report of the department is likely to arrive soon.
State to ask centre for more funds
State chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said in the Legislative Assembly that the state government has asked the Centre for funds worth Rs 3,925 crore for drought relief. He, however, added that if the number of affected villages increases, then the aid will also have to go up, and said that the current aid plea only takes crop damage into account. The new aid package will also include provisions for water and fodder crisis, he said.
Meanwhile, the water crisis in the state is assuming gargantuan proportions. On December 15, the number of villages and hamlets receiving tanker water rose to 122 and 182 respectively, and the number of tankers pressed into service has risen to 185. On December 15 last year, these numbers were 29 villages, 140 hamlets and 40 tankers. The number of tankers is highest in the worst-affected Marathwada region, at 130.
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