Don't panic, drought relief plans in place: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan

Don't panic, drought relief plans in place: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan
Mumbai Days after the Maharashtra Police issued a circular asking the force in drought-hit districts to be on alert as water wars could break out and create a law and order situation, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today responded by saying that panic should not be created as emergency plans are in place and the state will prevent large-scale migration. 123 talukas in Maharashtra have been declared drought-hit with the Marathawada region being the worst affected with only nine per cent of water remaining in dams.

"I have requested the railways to keep an emergency plan in place to transport water and to see where water could be loaded and offloaded from trains... It is not required immediately but it might be required in the months of April, May," the chief minister added.

The chief minister appealed to the Opposition to cooperate with the government in tackling the drought. Speaking to reporters he said, "We have set up a Chief Minister's drought relief fund and I appeal to everyone in Maharashtra to help. I appeal to the Opposition to cooperate with us in tackling this drought." With the state staring at mass migration in the wake of the drought, the Chief Minister also added "There will be no migration. We will affordable food and water wherever people gather."

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters that he was satisfied with the steps the government was taking to tackle the drought. With Maharashtra reeling under the worst drought ever, the next few months are a huge challenge for the government. With many calling this drought worse than 1972, the government has a huge task at hand in tackling its aftermath and relief for drought affected areas. 
Story First Published: March 10, 2013 22:52 IST

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