Mumbai: Funds from the Chief Minister`s Relief Fund may be utilised for emergency measures to tackle the drought-like situation due to the scanty rainfall in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said here today.
Addressing a meeting of divisional commissioners of Pune, Nashik and Aurangabad and collectors of 20 districts falling in these areas, through video conferencing, Chavan who took stock of the situation in view of the poor rainfall this month, said that if collectors submit proposals for emergency funds, provision would be made from the Chief Minister`s Relief Fund.
He also issued instructions to extend the time limit of spending up to Rs 2 crore, from the existing time limit of June 30. Chavan also directed zonal commissioners and district collectors to ensure that the drinking water supply must be the priority for using existing water resources.
Chavan discussed the possibility of drought and water scarcity in the state with collectors and divisional commissioners and discuss remedies.
The Chief Minister told collectors that each district would be given funds for water supply schemes and construction of cement check dams for which proposals would have to be submitted to the Chief Secretary.
He said that dam water should not be released without permission from district collectors. Chavan said that due to lack of rains, re-sowing operations would have to be started and water supply through tankers would also have to be started.
Since there could be a shortage of fodder, he asked district collectors to prepare an action plan to tackle the situation with details on what they would need to start new schemes.
Chavan asked collectors to ensure that rehabilitation work, which may have been left incomplete in some districts due to the Lok Sabha election code of conduct, is completed immediately.
"Even though there have been no no water and fodder scarcity so far, tankers have to be kept ready if the monsoon is delayed further," he said, adding that collectors have to be alert in view of the looming drought situation. So far, the Nashik division has received 19.82 mm of rainfall and there are 767 tankers providing drinking water. In Pune division, 58.16 mm of rains have been received and 1,395 tankers are being used to supply drinking water.
The Aurangabad division received only 28.89 mm of rains and 1,955 tankers are in service to supply drinking water.