Other States

Maharashtra ignored my warnings on drought: Yogendra Yadav

Accusing Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of ignoring his warnings on the severity of the drought impacting Marathawada, where the local police had to invoke Section 144 to prevent violence over water, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav on Saturday said 31 per cent of the gram panchayats in drought-affected districts had not shown any expenditure under MGNREGS, according to official data, till March 31.

Mr. Yadav said his organisation had taken out the Samvedna Yatra across drought-affected regions in Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana from October 2 to examine the impact of the drought. On October 8, he had written to the Chief Ministers of all States, including Maharashtra, specifying the immediate measures needed to be taken to alleviate the sufferings of the rural population.

In his four-page letter, Mr Yadav had suggested that the Maharashtra government officially declare drought to prise open the funds from the State Disaster Relief Fund, take emergency measures to tackle the water crisis, implement the rural employment guarantee scheme and the State Employment Guarantee Scheme, restructure agri-loans, enhance ratio under the PDS, and compensate farmer for crop losses.

“On September 30, 2015, the monsoon ended, and it was clear on October 1 that Marathawada would face another drought. Had the government acted upon our suggestions, things would not have reached such severity,” Mr. Yadva said, releasing his letter.

In the letter, Mr. Yadav had suggested to the government to stop any diversion of water for non-essential purposes. He had suggested temporary ban on supply of water for water-intensive sugarcane crops, ban reopening of sugar factories, regulating drawing of water by bottling plants, stopping unauthorised diversion of water for industries.

“It is a crime against humanity to supply water to sugarcane crops when there is acute drinking water shortage. Activists have repeatedly pointed out how sugar factories are sucking out water in the Marathawada region, but yet in Latur, water was supplied to sugarcane farming,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 3:04:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-ignored-my-warnings-on-drought-yogendra-yadav/article8456261.ece

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