Drought situation in Marathwada, Vidarbha grim: Maha CM

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said drought situation in Marathwada and parts of Vidarbha was grim and the state government has sought a Rs 4,500 crore relief package from the Centre.

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said drought situation in Marathwada and parts of Vidarbha was grim and the state government has sought a Rs 4,500 crore relief package from the Centre.

"The situation is grim... We have decided not to cut electricity connections to farmers in the drought-affected areas even if they default on power bill payments," Fadnavis said, talking to reporters at Aurangabad this evening after reviewing the situation.

"We will send a drought relief memorandum to the Centre in two days, seeking Rs 4,500 crore relief measures," he said.

The government has also decided to accept most of the recommendations about relief measures made by cabinet sub -committee headed by revenue minister Eknath Khadse, he said.

"We will also try to bring water to Marathwada through river-linking," he said.

Over 19,000 of the 40,000 villages in the state have recorded low crop yield this season.

"The government has also decided to waive fees of 10th and 12th class students in the affected areas," Fadnavis said.

"We have also authorised the concerned district collectors to appoint contract workers for two months in these areas (to speed up relief-related work)," he said, adding that farmers would be provided replacements for burnt transformers in 48 hours.

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