Inadequate rains, scarcity, worry Maharashtra legislatorsJuly 11th, 2012 - 11:36 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, July 11 (IANS) The ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party Democratic Front government Wednesday faced the ire of the combined Opposition and treasury benches on the serious drought-like situation and water shortage conditions confronting the state.
In a marathon five-hour discussion on the issue, legislators across party lines blasted Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s government for what they described “failure to provide adequate relief measures” to the scarcity-hit villages in the state.
Accusing the state government for lack of planning and foresight to store water for such an eventuality, Nationalist Congress Party Sadashivrao Patil said that the depths of the available water in the state bear testimony to this.
“There is only 13 percent water available in all the dams and reservoirs in the state. This government failed to tap and store rain water when there was abundant rainfall. This year in July, with only 11 percent rainfall, they are trying to fight the situation by supplying 2,500 water tankers in 400 worst-hit villages,” Patil said.
He claimed that there is growing rebellion among the farmers in the western Maharashtra region in view of scarce rainfall.
“The government had promised to provide relief to the villages facing a drought-like situation. Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Patangro Kadam had sanctioned Rs.10 crore for each of the 15 affected districts. However, barely 10 percent of this amount has reached the villages. Even fodder for animals has not been supplied,” Patil said.
He referred to a recent protest by farmers when they abandoned and tied their cattle in the offices of the Pune district collector, but the government was undeterred when the state was facing its worst drought since 1972.
Patil said that the state suffered on two counts - injustice of nature in the form of insufficient rains and the ruling Chavan ministry through improper planning and adequate relief measures.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Nana Patole urged the government to consider the discarded ‘River Linking Project,’ a brainchild of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
“It is shameful that with several major rivers flowing through Maharashtra, the farmers and animals are dying of thirst and crops have dried up,” Patole, who had burned hay outside the assembly, said.
Rattled by the onslaught, the state government announced a special drought package of Rs.2,625 crore to tide over the situation.
Minister Patangrao Kadam informed the assembly at the end of the debate that the special package would be used to provide relief in the form of water tankers, fodder, food grains and other requirements in some of the worst affected districts of the state.
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- Centre seeks revised drought report from Karnataka - Aug 02, 2012
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- Women in Bihar plough fields, sing to please rains gods - Jul 29, 2011
Tags: abundant rainfall, adequate relief, benches, chief minister, crore, dams and reservoirs, drought, eventuality, fodder, foresight, injustice, kadam, legislators, nationalist congress party, pune district, rain water, relief measures, scarcity, water shortage, water tankers