Around 200 talukas in Maharashtra are facing "scarcity-like" conditions and two senior ministers have been asked to submit a report on this issue, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Tuesday.
He added that a decision to declare these talukas as scarcity-hit would be taken by October 31.
Talking to reporters after a ministerial meeting, Fadnavis said that state Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil and Transport Minister Diwakar Raote have been entrusted with the task of reviewing the scarcity situation in these talukas and submitting a report to him.
"A decision of declaring the talukas as scarcity-hit will be taken by October 31. Later, a Central team will visit to review the situation and then a decision of declaring drought will be taken, since it (declaring drought) is in the Centre's domain," Fadnavis said.
He informed that inputs about the prevailing scarcity situation is being compiled for submission to the Union government.
The Maharashtra CM said that ministers have been asked to take stock of water storage in the state's dams and reservoirs and prepare a report.
Meanwhile, the Congress has questionned the "delay" in announcing scarcity in 200 talukas by the chief minister.
"Is chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is waiting for an auspicious date to declare a scarcity in north Maharashtra and Marathwada?" state unit Congress chief Ashok Chavan said while speaking in Sangamner in Ahmednagar district.
The second phase of the "Jan Sangharsh Yatra" launched by the Congress to "expose" the state government ended Tuesday.
He said the CM's announcement that a decision to declare these talukas as scarcity-hit would be taken by October 31 is another "delaying tactic".
Chavan said the water levels in dams across the state have dipped drastically.
"A severe water shortage is seen across the region. Every village is demanding that a drought be declared. Why is the government refusing to listen to the demands of distressed farmers?" he asked.
Chavan said load-shedding had already begun in several parts of Maharashtra.
"There is no water to irrigate fields. There is no electricity to draw water from bore wells. How is a farmer supposed to survive?" he questionned.
The former chief minister said the farm loan waiver announced by the BJP-led government existed only on banners and in advertisements.
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