The Maharashtra government has declared drought in 12,000 villages across Vidarbha.
The decision will help farmers growing cotton, paddy and soyabean across the region, who were not eligible for the special drought package as per the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) guidelines.
Of the total 12,000 villages, nearly 5,900 come under Amravati division, while the remaining are spread across Gondia, Bhandara, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Yavatmal and Nagpur.
With district officials earlier reporting that these villages in Vidarbha were not eligible for the special drought package under NDRF guidelines, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said in the Legislative Assembly the government would override the norms to provide the special package to farmers facing crisis in the cotton belt.
As per norms, the percentage of rainfall along with crop losses are studied for declaration of drought. “While there was a drop in crop production, the rainfall norms did not allow NDRF to consider these villages as drought-hit,” said Fadnavis.
Revenue and Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse took the formal decision to declare drought and provide relief to these farmers after a meeting with the CM. Fadnavis also discussed the matter with the Centre.