An Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) is currently visiting Maharashtra to assess the drought situation in the State.
The team, led by Sanjeev Chopra, Joint Secretary (National Horticulture Mission) in the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, comprising members from other concerned ministries and departments, will assess and place its report before the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) for effective management of drought and related issues which is likely to meet the next week.
Maharashtra is witnessing drought during the current Rabi season, and this drought spell was preceded by drought during Rabi 2011-12 and Kharif-2012.
The Central Government has already approved Rs. 574.71 crore and Rs. 778.09 crore to Maharashtra from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for mitigating drought situation during Rabi-2011-12 and Kharif-2012 respectively.
Deficit rainfall in western Maharashtra and Marathwada throughout the 2012 monsoon resulted in less availability of soil moisture and water for irrigation.
Poor rainfall has affected the storage in all the irrigation projects in the drought-affected region.
Live storage in all the dams has rapidly depleted in three divisions viz. Nashik, Pune and Aurangabad and the water storage in Jayakwadi, the biggest dam in Maharashtra, has negligible live storage.
Water is being made available to people through private and Government tankers.
About 441 cattle camps have been opened where 3,39,779 cattle are accommodated. (ANI)