Dry spell in half of Maharashtra, 172 talukas declared drought affected tehsils

By: | Published: October 24, 2018 12:38 AM

According to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, these talukas are selected after strictly following scientific norms laid down by the government of India.

Dry spell in half of Maharashtra

The government of Maharashtra has declared a ‘drought-like’ situation in 180 talukas. According to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, these talukas are selected after strictly following scientific norms laid down by the government of India.

Various mitigation measures will be implemented in these villages and a central government team would soon visit these talukas to make its own assessment and declare assistance, the CM said on Tuesday. He said, “the state received only 77 % of its average rainfall this year.”

Significantly, Maharashtra has 353 talukas spread across 36 districts. Fadnavis said that the state government would soon issue a government resolution (GR), following which these talukas will be entitled to receive relief measures, including water supply through tankers, waiver of land revenue, electricity bill for agricultural consumption, and education fees.

As per the government report, around 172 talukas have been declared drought affected tehsils in trigger 2. These include Ahmednagar, Akola, Amravati, Aurangabad Dhule, Beed, Chandrapur, Bhandara, Buldhana, Jalgaon, Jalna, Yavatmal, Latur, Nashik, Nagpur, Pune among others. According to senior government officials, kharif crops including cotton, soybean, tur could be badly hit by the drought-like situation and the monsoon withdrawal could also impact Rabi crops including jowar and chana.

The government is taking mitigation measures for horticulture crops.
Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, which make up for 19 of Maharashtra’s 35 districts, have the largest share of talukas facing ‘drought-like situation’. Vidarbha has 75 talukas and Marathwada’s eight districts account for 64 talukas.
Agriculture in these regions is largely rain-fed and much of the cultivable land has no access to irrigation. In Vidarbha, 17 tehsils have recorded 30-50% deficit in rainfall. Marathwada has 40 such talukas. Marathwada also has 7 talukas which reported more than 50% deficit in rainfall. According to official figures, the Aurangabad (in Marathwada region) and Nashik divisions received the lowest rainfall this year and have just about 27.59 % and 64.89 % of water respectively stored in the dams.
As per a report by the state government’s water supply and sanitation department, nearly 11,500 villages of the state’s 40,000-odd villages faced scarcity due to a combination of less than normal rainfall and exploitation of groundwater.

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