The Maharashtra government has asked divisional administrations to bring forward the first review of the kharif sowing and the loss of crops due to poor rainfall in districts of Central, North and Western Maharashtra. After the review, the state cabinet is expected to announce the list of drought-hit villages, which will then be entitled to receive financial aid.
The district administrations have been directed to submit the report of the sowing and the loss of crops, popularly known as ‘Najar Anevari’, by the end of the week.
Once the report is prepared, the state government will submit a memorandum for a relief package to the central government.
As per the revised norms issued by the central government, the state governments are first required to identify the villages that are drought-hit, so that aid can be offered to them. “As per the changed norms, there are at least 8,000 villages that could be announced as drought-hit. The number has come down from 12,000 due to the satisfactory rainfall in the past week. Though we have decided to send a memorandum to the central government for a relief package, the centre has already released relief funds worth Rs550 crore, to which the state has added the sum of Rs320 crore,” said revenue minister Eknath Khadse.
The villages which have received less than 75% rainfall and the ones with 33% crop loss will now be announced as drought-hit. Hundreds of villages from Latur, Osmanabad, Jalna, Beed and dozens of villages from four talukas in Jalgaon, as well as two in Ahmedabad, are likely to be included in the list. Khadse said the decision about the announcement will be taken in the cabinet meeting to be held next week.
The minister also said that the government has decided to hold a special meeting of the cabinet at Aurangabad, the headquarters of the Marathwada region, in October, instead of September as announced earlier. The cabinet is expected to take important decisions for the Marathwada region, which has been facing drought for the past four years.