Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis sought increased funding for several central schemes on Saturday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the drought situation in 28,000 villages of the state.
Fadnavis declined to share information on how much money the state has asked from the Centre.
He said 28,000 villages have been hit by drought in the state across 20-22 districts. This includes the Marathwada region, West Vidarbha, districts of Ahmednagar, Solpaur and Sangli.
“Currently, the magnitude of the drought has increased and 11,000 more villages have been affected,” he told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister has called for focus on medium- and long term-solutions for drought-proofing.
“CM @Dev_Fadnavis & I held wide-ranging discussions on the drought in parts of Maharashtra & how to mitigate it,” Modi tweeted.
“Stressed on vitality of increasing water use efficiency through sprinkler & drip irrigation including in sugarcane cultivation,” he added.
In another tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Usage of modern solid & liquid waste management practices in urban areas will also benefit the adjoining rural areas.”
Fadnavis said the state government has chalked out a plan to tackle drought situation in Marathwada and Vidarbha, which includes creation of a “guaranteed irrigation” plan over the next 2-3 years.
An additional plan to have better water management system in western Maharashtra was presented to the Centre, he said, adding the state has demanded Rs 7,500 for these two projects.
“We have been allowed to send a supplementary proposal for relief now. We also did a presentation on what pre-monsoon work that could be done in the coming six-weeks. This includes de-silting work at several places and improvement of structures,” Fadnavis said, adding that a long term plan to combat drought was also presented to the PM.
“It is for the first time that the Centre sanctioned highest ever relief to the state. We has initially asked for Rs 4,500 crore but the Centre sanctioned over Rs 3,000 crore, the highest ever in the state’s history. Of this, Rs 2,500 crore has already been disbursed.