MUMBAI: A day after he concluded his three-day visit to drought-affected Marathwada, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar today met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and sought immediate help to overcome the water shortage in the region.
"Water levels in reservoirs in the region has depleted and there is acute water shortage," Pawar told Fadnavis, during their meeting in the Sahyadri guest house in South Mumbai.
"The situation may go out of control if the state government does not tackle it properly," an NCP statement quoted Pawar as having told the Maharashtra CM.
Yesterday, Pawar had announced that he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the issue of restructuring farmers' loans.
"Farmers battling drought need immediate relief. We will meet the PM - if he is in India - and also the FM to discuss restructuring of farmers' loans," Pawar had said at Parbhani in Marathwada.
There should be no politics over farmers' problems, Pawar had said, in a veiled reference to BJP leaders' citicism about his Marathwada tour.
More than 50,000 people from drought-hit areas in the Marathwada region migrated to Pimpri-Chinchwad near Pune during the last month, Pawar said.
"People and cattle have no water to drink but the government is not doing anything. Nothing will be achieved by giving a new name to the Union Agriculture Ministry," Pawar said, referring to PM Modi's Independence Day speech yesterday.
Later, in a series of tweets, Pawar said he has discussed the seriousness of the situation with Fadnavis and now intends to draw Centre's attention to the gravity of the drought.
"I personally surveyed #drought affected Districts of Osmanabad, Latur, Beed and Parbhani recently. After interacting with the #farmers at length the #seriousness of the #drought appears grave.
"Immediate relief has to be provided to remedy the #drought condition. The #farmers have to be rescued out of the situation urgently," the former Union Agriculture Minister said on the micro-blogging site.