A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis declared a ‘drought-like situation‘ in 180 tehsils of the state, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray has questioned Maharashtra government about the "delay" in declaring drought in the state following scanty rainfall.
While addressing a rally on Tuesday, Thackeray wondered if Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would declare drought only after consulting the "Panchang" (astrological daily calendar).
"Karnataka government has declared drought without any condition but Maharashtra government has not done so despite water and crop conditions getting worse. Will Fadanvis declare drought only after seeing the panchang," he said.
Referring to the farmers' recent protest march to Delhi, Thackeray said cultivators had gone to the national capital to get their demands fulfilled but they were lobbed with teargas shells and beaten up.
"We were hopeful that our wishes will be fulfilled after this government came to power, but it vain," said Thackeray, whose party is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
Earlier on Tuesday, after the cabinet meeting, CM Fadnavis briefed reporters about the current status of water problems in the state. He said:
"Maharashtra has 353 tehsils and among all this talukas, nearly 180 talukas are facing acute water scarcity. These tehsils were selected after strictly following scientific norms of Government of India of trigger 1 & 2 and also various mitigation measures will be implemented in these villages from today".
He further added that central government will soon visit affected talukas to make their own assessment:
"Efforts and measures by the government include concession in a land revenue, agricultural pumps, educational fees, continued power supply to agricultural pumps, availability of tankers for drinking water. A team of a central government will soon visit affected talukas to make their own assessment and declare assistance".
This year, the state received less rainfall than the average rainfall. Many parts of the states are facing acute water shortage. Worst affected areas are Marathwada, Vidarbha and North Maharashtra.
(With inputs from PTI)