Water-crisis will be felt in the near future not only in rural areas but also in cities owing to a drought-like situation in Maharashtra, state Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Wednesday.

“Not only in rural areas, but also in cities water-crisis will be felt in coming days,” Mr. Chavan said, addressing the people from the state secretariat after hoisting the tri-colour on the Independence Day.

Voicing concern over the drought-like situation in most parts of the state, he said the government has been implementing several temporary and permanent schemes.

“We all should pledge to conserve water by percolating it in the ground and using it carefully,” he urged.

The drought-like situation is not new for the state and since the last two years, 65 talukas have been tackling it, Mr. Chavan said.

He said the sowing of kharif crop has also not been satisfactory. “At many places double-sowing would have to be done. The water stock in the dams is a meagre 48 per cent,” he said.

The Centre has accepted the demand of state government to incur an expenditure of up to 100 days in the National Employment Guarantee scheme.

“The central government will incur an expenditure of additional 50 days in the drought-affected talukas,” he said, adding that 30 new works have been added to it which will benefit the state.

Earlier, beginning his speech by paying condolence to senior Congress leader and Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh who passed away on Tuesday, Mr. Chavan appreciated the deceased leader for taking the state to the forefront through various developmental decisions.

“By taking up developmental decisions, Deshmukh took the state to a leading position,” he said.

Speaking on the fire that gutted top floors of the state secretariat here on June 21, he said in order to bring the working system in proper order, the administration is working hard and their work also needs to be appreciated.

On the occasion, he also mentioned that “we all will have to fight against the inhuman practise of female foeticide.”