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One should tour region to know drought woes: Pawar taunts CM

NCP chief Sharad Pawar Sunday took a dig at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis saying the severity of drought in the state cannot be understood by making phone calls alone, and those in power should tour the region and meet people to know their woes.

Pawar's statement comes in the wake of Fadnavis holding a dialogue with collectors, sarpanchs (village heads) from different parts of the state through "audio bridge" technology on mobile phone to discuss issues related to drought.

During his dialogue, the chief minister gave several directions to the officials, including starting works under the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) in the drought-affected areas, and according sanction to such works within three days.

"Anyone can seek information by making phone calls. But politicians in power should tour the region and meet people to understand their problems," Pawar said in Satara where he met people facing severe water scarcity.

"I am going to seek an appointment with chief minister in the coming days once I am done with my meetings with the drought-affected people. I will discuss issues related to drought and measures to overcome it," the former Union minister said.

Meanwhile, Fadnavis has directed all the guardian secretaries to visit their respective districts to keep a tab on the implementation of the drought relief work.

The guardian secretaries have been directed to submit their reports by May 21, a statement issued by the chief minister's office (CMO) said.

"The chief secretary will submit a detailed report on the drought and its severity in the state by May 21. The state could finalise a plan and may expand its reach of tanker-based water supply in the villages," an official in the CMO.