The state government will add 56 more tehsils (sub-districts) from Vidarbha’s Amravati revenue division in the list of areas that are facing drought-like situation.
The proposal was cleared by a cabinet sub-committee on Thursday; a formal decision is to be taken in a special meeting of the state cabinet on Friday.
Till the beginning of this week, the number of tehsils facing water scarcity was 161. Now, it is likely to go up to 217 with five districts of Vidarbha region being added to the list. The state has 353 tehsils.
This also means that the government is anticipating drought-like situation in more than half of Maharashtra as the rainfall is below the average. Till August 17, the state has received 70 per cent of the annual average rainfall. Six districts in central Maharashtra and Vidarbha have received less than 50 per cent of average rainfall.
According to official release of the government, the crop of paddy, cotton, soyabean and pulses is badly affected. The water in state’s dams is filled 46 per cent of their capacity.
The state cabinet, which has already drawn a plan to provide relief measures, will be discussing the situation again on Friday.
But, the state’s efforts are mired in political controversy.
Alleging discrimination over declaration of scarcity-like situation in their respective regions, the ministers from western Vidarbha’s cotton belt forced the cabinet to get relief measures approved for the entire Amravati revenue division that comprises five districts.