Mumbai, March 6 (IANS) The central government has provided Rs.5.74 billion so far to help combat drought in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said here Wednesday.
The money is being utilised for water supply and water augmentation schemes in the state's drought-hit areas, he said.
Maharashtra recently sought Rs.2,500 crore as assistance to tackle the drought in the state.
Osmanabad and Jalna towns have been given Rs.51 crore and Rs.40 crore respectively to permanently improve their water supply supply schemes.
The state has given Rs.4.14 billion to the Water Supply Department for augmenting various water schemes, cattle-sheds and other facilities to tackle the situation in Sangli, Satara and other areas.
Around 1,633 villages and 4,490 hamlets are reeling under a severe drought across the state.
They are being supplied water through a network of 2,136 tankers and more would be made available as required.
Besides, 23,224 employment schemes have been started in the affected villages giving jobs to 223,000 people, Chavan said.
This year, the water available in 2475 reservoirs stands at an average of 35 percent, compared to 40 percent last year on the same day.