PM Modi Meets Maharashtra CM to Discuss Drought Situation

PM Modi meets Maharshtra Chief Minister to discuss action plan to tackle drought. 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews drought situation at a high level meeting with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, in New Delhi. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

According to the latest development, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today sought increased funding for several central schemes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the situation in the state.

Fadnavis, however, declined to share information on how much money the state has asked for from the Centre. He said 28,000 villages overall have been hit by drought in the state across 20-22 districts. This includes the entire Marathwada region, West Vidarbha, districts of Ahmednagar, Solapur and Sangli to an extent.

In fresh scenario, the magnitude of the drought has increased and 11,000 more villages have been affected
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

The Prime Minister also tweeted about his meeting with Fadnavis.

Fadnavis said the state government has chalked out a plan to tackle drought situation in Marathwada and Vidarbha, which includes creation of a “guaranteed irrigation” plan over the next 2-3 years. “An additional plan to have better water management system in Western Maharashtra was presented to the Centre”, he said, adding that the state has demanded Rs 7500 for these two projects.

“We have been allowed to send a supplementary proposal for relief now. We also did a presentation on what pre-monsoon work that could be done in the coming six-weeks. This includes de-silting work at several places and improvement of structures” Fadnavis said.

“It is for the first time that the Centre has sanctioned the highest ever relief to the state. We had initially asked for Rs 4500 crore, but the Centre sanctioned over Rs 3000 crore, the highest ever in the state’s history. Of this, Rs 2500 crore has already been disbursed,”added Fadnavis.

Earlier in the day, a special meeting of Chief Ministers of states battling with drought met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to a Times of India report. The chief ministers of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka hoped to meet the PM and “draft an action plan to tackle drought”, the report said.

Prolonged dry spells in the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra triggered farmer suicides in the summer (Photo: AP)
Prolonged dry spells in the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra triggered farmer suicides in the summer (Photo: AP)

Fadnavis also had an extended meeting with Uma Bharti, Union Water Resources Minister on “central assistance for ongoing projects in drought-prone areas in Maharashtra”. According to the report, “he had demanded a sum of Rs 7,187 crore for completing 132 projects in Marathwada and Rs 4,098 crore for 98 projects in the Vidarbha region.”

We have prepared an action plan for completing these projects in a time-bound period provided the Centre releases financial aid or allows the state government to raise loans.
Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis. (Photo: ANI screengrab)
Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis. (Photo: ANI screengrab)

The report also said Fadnavis would seek to recommend the state government’s plan to the World Bank, in order to make 5,000 villages free of drought.

We have proposed to make at least 5,000 villages drought-free in the current year and make 25,000 villages water-sufficient in the next five years

(With agency inputs)

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