Maharashtra wants Rs.10,000 crore package to combat drought

New Delhi/Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the severe drought situation in his state and sought a Rs.10,000 crore package to combat the situation.

In a detailed presentation to the PM at their meeting in New Delhi, Fadnavis also outlined details, including a short-term six-week plan, to alleviate the situation prior to the monsoon.

“CM Fadnavis and I held wide-ranging discussions on the drought in parts of Maharasthra & how to mitigate it,” Modi tweeted later about the meeting.

He said Fadnavis also apprised him of the Jal Yukt Shivar Abhiyan and the state government’s efforts to complete pending irrigation projects, among measures to combat the drought.

On his part, Modi stressed on vitality of increasing water use efficiency through sprinkler and drip irrigation including in sugarcane cultivation, besides usage of modern solid and liquid waste management practices in urban centres to benefit adjoining rural areas.

Addressing the media in New Delhi, Fadnavis said later that he made a presentation to the PM detailing extent of rainfall, reserve water and updates in the agriculture sector.

He demanded a package of Rs.7,500 crore plans to complete pending irrigation projects in the worst suicide-prone districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada, and an additional Rs.2,500 crore for completing similar pending irrigation projects within the next two-three years.

Fadanavis also sought to submit a supplementary memorandum seeking more funds from the central government, apart from the Rs.3,600 crores received earlier to tackle the drought situation, with utmost attention to the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.

He said that another 11,000 villages in the state are impacted from the current severe drought and the government would prepare a plan to improve the situation until the arrival of the monsoon, normally due by early June.