Maharashtra: Ministers clamour for drought aid in cabinet meet
The state cabinet continued to express grave concern over the severe drought situation in the state, even as some ministers demanded extensive measures in areas such as central Maharashtra.
Beed’s guardian minister Jaidutta Kshirsagar was vocal as usual in seeking more money and quick approvals from the state and district administration.
Sources said he was miffed because a middle-level bureaucrat, SM Kendrekar, who he had trouble with in the past, was asked to resume as the Beed collector by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
Chavan told the cabinet that the state had received a grant of Rs.574 crore to mitigate drought and more funds were being sanctioned.
He informed the members about several measures that are being initiated in rural and urban areas where water scarcity is acute.
So far, a grant Rs.414 crore has been given for this purpose, he said.
CR ready to provide goods wagon for water supply
The Central Railway has offered to provide its goods wagon to transport water to drought-affected areas near Bhusawal and Solapur, or to the villages near its stations, if a request comes from the state.
“The state has to make proposal 30 to 45 days in advance as the goods wagon, which normally transports oil, take time to be cleaned. However, if any such requests come, we are prepared to provide a 45-coach goods wagon,” said a senior railway official, requesting anonymity.
One 45-wagon goods train can supply 20,000 litres of water to the drought-affected areas.
When contacted, a senior official from state relief and rehabilitation department said, “Water supply through railway is an option to be resorted in the extreme situation, but right now it is not required, so we are not considering it.”