Ministers will tour drought-hit districts: Maharashtra govt to HC

The State government on Tuesday informed the Bombay High Court that one state minister and one guardian minister will together take a three-day tour of drought-hit districts from March 4, to check how effectively schemes for the welfare of farmers are being implemented and then submit a report to the Chief Minister.

Government pleader AB Vagyani said leaders from Amravati, Aurangabad and Nagpur have monitored the drought hit areas to check the water situation, and a cell has been established at the divisional level to monitor state run welfare schemes for farmers.

A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice AA Sayed was hearing a suo motu petition on the rise in farmer suicides and the State’s response measures.

The court noted that the implementation of schemes should have an impact, and said, “You are practically at war and you should manage the disaster.”

The judges went on to say there are places where there is no source of water and questioned how the government planned to tackle this.

The court asked if railway transport could be used to distribute water in areas like Latur and Osmanabad, where there are few sources of water.

The court also said that even water tankers don’t have any source of water and that ground water is also drying up and asked if the State had done any study on the matter.

The court has asked the Additional Solicitor General, Anil Singh, to inform the court on the number of schemes so far drawn up and implemented by the Central government, and for the new schemes and policies started for the welfare of farmers in the latest budget.

The court has told the ASG to get all the details and submit a status report in the next hearing.

The court ordered the State to give appropriate instructions to Municipal Councils and Commissioners, and the local bodies of chief engineer’s offices to come up and create plans and probable solutions to save water till June and adjourned the matter till March 17.

You are practically at war and you should manage the disaster

Court to State