Maharashtra government on Tuesday said it will approach the Centre in a week with a memorandum on drought relief, in the backdrop of low crop yield in almost 50% villages of the state.
"Over 19,000 of the 40,000 villages in the state have recorded low 'paisewari' (crop yield). This is an unprecedented situation and worse than the one in 2004 when there was low crop yield in 13,000 villages," chief minister Devendra Fadnavis told reporters after the state Cabinet meeting.
"The state faces a big calamity. We requested the Centre to exempt conducting panchnama in affected villages so that the relief can be given quickly and the Centre agreed to it," he said.
The Cabinet decided to set up a sub-committee headed by revenue minister Eknath Khadse to suggest relief measures on the drought-like situation, he said.
"We will also survey damage on 50,000 hectares land in state affected by the recent unseasonal heavy rains," he said.
The government has decided to set up automatic weather monitoring centres at 2,065 places to enable farmers to get an accurate picture of various weather parameters, including humidity, Fadnavis said.