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Water shortage in 19,000 villages: Maharashtra government to approach Centre for package

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With 19,000 villages across Maharashtra facing acute water shortage, the state government on Tuesday decided to approach the Centre to seek a package for farmers in the affected areas.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said they will get in touch with the Union Government in a week's time with a memorandum for a financial package. Of 39,134 villages in the state, an estimated 19,069 have been hit water scarcity, according to government data.

Fadnavis said his cabinet had decided to constitute a sub-committee, which would have the rehabilitation and relief minister as its president, and agriculture, revenue, rural development ministers as members, to handle the crisis.

Untimely rain has destroyed crops, including paddy, bananas, grapes, soya-bean, pomegranates, in in over 50,000 hectares, with Marathwada and Vidarbha region – especially Aurangabad district, Amravati and Nagpur divisions – being the worst hit.

On Monday, the CM reviewed the power generation, distribution and planning scene in the state and instructed officials to ensure uninterrupted and adequate power supply to farmers to help the crop growers operate water pumps without any hassle.

The CM also stressed the need to fix/replace damaged transformers on a priority and asked the officials to make efforts to bring down prices of solar pumps. Power secretary Mehta made a presentation on power scenario in the state.

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