Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said drought in various parts of the state was not hydrological but agricultural, based on criterion laid down by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
“The criterion for declaring drought was prepared in 1970 and amended twice. The criterion have been prepared as per NDRF norms,” Fadnavis said, during a debate in the Legislative Assembly.
“When we declare drought, there are two conditions: agricultural drought and hydrological drought. This means the ‘anewari (crop yield) and rainfall should be less. This is NDRF norm.
“Sadly, as per this norm, we saw agricultural drought to some extent but it was not a hydrological drought,” he added.
Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil had moved an adjournment motion and sought resignation of Minister for Rehabilitation Eknath Khadse for failing in his duties to provide relief to farmers from Amravati division despite the report by the Divisional Commissioner.
After the motion was rejected by the Chair, entire Opposition staged a walk out from the House.
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had passed strictures on Friday by saying that government needs to come out of from deep slumber on drought situation faced by Amravati division farmers.
It had also passed strictures on Mantralaya (state secretariat) ‘babus’ for not understanding the plight of the farmers by sitting in air-conditioned rooms in Mantralaya.
The state government acted even before the High Court strictures by reaching out to drought hit farmers from Amravati division and east Vidarbha, Fadnavis said.
Both Vikhe-Patil and NCP group leader Jayant Patil criticised Government on the same and sought Khadse’s resignation.
Fadnavis said it was not state Government but NDRF which prepared the parameters for declaring drought in any state.