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Mar 13, 2013 at 07:41pm IST

EGoM approves Rs 1,207 crore drought relief package to Maharashtra

New Delhi: An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on drought headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Wednesday approved Rs 1,207 crore relief package to Maharashtra. Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Planning Commission Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia were at the meeting.

"Rs 1,207 crore drought relief package has been approved for Maharashtra," Shinde told reporters after the meeting.

Out of the total amount, Rs 807 crore will be released under the National Disaster Relief Fund to 3,905 villages in the state where drought has affected rabi crops, sources said.

The rest Rs 400 crore will be released under the National Horticulture Mission to 1,100 villages where drought has hit kharif crops, they said.

The Maharashtra government had demanded a relief package of Rs 1,801 crore under the National Disaster Relief Fund, but the central team after assessing the situation recommended Rs 872 crore.

Last year, Rs 778 crore was approved to the state under this fund to mitigate losses to crop. Shinde said the EGoM has approved drought relief packages for Kerala and other states as well.

Of the total 34 districts in Maharashtra, the worst- affected are Solapur, Ahmednagar, Sangli, Pune, Satara, Beed and Nashik. The situation is also serious in Buldhana, Latur, Osmanabad, Nanded, Aurangabad, Jalna, Jalgaon and Dhule

districts, an official said.

Some districts in the state are facing acute shortage of fodder and drinking water problem. Drinking water is being supplied through tankers in most affected villages, the official added.

With additional information from PTI