Sharad Pawar expresses concerns over drought-like conditions in many parts of Maharashtra; calls for all-party meet

Pune: Expressing concern over the drought-like conditions affecting many parts of Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Friday urged the Mahayuti government to take the crisis seriously. He also called on Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to convene an all-party meeting in the coming days to discuss enhanced relief measures for the affected districts.

Pawar, speaking in Mumbai, supported the government’s request to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to relax the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct to provide relief to drought-hit areas, given that the Lok Sabha election process had concluded in Maharashtra.

“The rainfall situation is very worrisome. Seventy-three per cent of the State is under the shadow of drought. The water levels in the dam in Sambhajinagar have plummeted to 10%. The situation in Pune is serious, and the water stock in dams in other parts of Maharashtra is equally precarious. There is no politics here. We will cooperate with the government, which has taken the right stand in writing to the Election Commission since the polls are over in Maharashtra,” the 83-year-old NCP chief said.

He noted that, compared to 1,108 villages last year, 10,572 villages and hamlets were being supplied with water by tankers this year.

Pawar, who served as Union Agriculture Minister for two terms (2004-14) in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, demanded a halt to loan recoveries to provide relief for farmers and urged for the immediate restructuring and availability of crop loans. He also criticized insurance companies for delaying compensation to farmers whose crops were damaged by unseasonal rain and drought.


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