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NCP chief Sharad Pawar writes to CM Devendra Fadnavis highlighting loopholes in drought relief work

The politics over drought escalated on Wednesday as NCP chief Sharad Pawar wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis highlighting loopholes in drought relief work.

Sharad Pawar was on tour of drought-affected localities in Solapur, Satara, Beed and Ahmednagar. Calling it the worse drought since 1972, Pawar pointed out that the current cattle subsidy is inadequate.

“It should be increased up to Rs 119 per cattle so that each cattle can get enough quantity of feed and fodder to survive. Due to the shortage of fodder, milk production has also gone down. Fodder camps are yet to be set up in many places,” Pawar said.

Inadequate tanker water, irregularities in tanker supply, non-availability of food grains and ration shops are among the other issues raised by him.

NCP chief also pointed out that under the MNREGA scheme, people have been given job cards sans any work. “Farmers have not got the benefit of farm loan waiver scheme and they are still waiting for the amount of crop insurance,” Pawar added.

Replying to the allegations hurled by Pawar, Chandrakant Patil, agricultural and relief and rehabilitation minister said that government is committed to tackling the drought. “We had organised a cabinet sub-committee meeting on Wednesday and decided to increase the per cattle fodder amount from Rs 90 to Rs 100. On the other hand, a tehsildar now has the authority to start tanker water supply to any drought-affected village — a power which was earlier vested on collectors,” Patil said.

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