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Drought relief: Centre to give Maharashtra Rs4,714 crore

The state declared drought in 151 tehsils on October 31 last year, in accordance with NDRF norms, and sought ₹7,103 crore towards damages to crops, ₹535 crore for providing fodder and ₹324 crore for water supply

mumbai Updated: Jan 30, 2019 00:20 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra,drought,Centre
The state declared drought in 151 tehsils on October 31 last year, in accordance with NDRF norms, and sought ₹7,103 crore towards damages to crops, ₹535 crore for providing fodder and ₹324 crore for water supply.(Hindustan Times)

Three months after the government declared drought in Maharashtra, the Centre on Tuesday approved ₹4,714 crore towards mitigation measures under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), much lower than the state’s demand of ₹7,962 crore. Consequently, the state will have to pay the remaining ₹3,248 crore from its kitty, in addition to the ₹3,000 crore for the 318 revenue circles that are not eligible for the Centre’s compensation under NDRF norms.

The state declared drought in 151 tehsils on October 31 last year, in accordance with NDRF norms, and sought ₹7,103 crore towards damages to crops, ₹535 crore for providing fodder and ₹324 crore for water supply. After the uproar by the Opposition and farmers’ organisations over affected villages being left out of the list, the state declared drought in 318 revenue circles. Last week, the state announced the release of ₹2,900 crore from its coffers. “Happy to share that the Centre has approved ₹4,714.28 assistance to drought-hit Maharashtra for kharif season in 2018-19,” Radha Mohan Singh, Union minister for agriculture, posted on Twitter.

State relief and rehabilitation minister Chandrakant Patil said, “This is the biggest amount approved by the Centre for any state towards drought assistance. For the remaining amount, the state will continue follow-up with the Centre. The state government is also ready to release funds from its kitty to help the farmers.”

“We will be left with no option, but to spend from our resources, if the Centre doesn’t approve the additional funds for drought relief for 151 tehsils. The amount goes over ₹6,000 crore as the state will also have to aid the 318 revenue circles,” said a senior officer, requesting anonymity.

First Published: Jan 30, 2019 00:20 IST