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10 more states demand funds to tackle drought


New Delhi

Ten more states have approached the Union government for additional funds in the form of drought relief packages sanctioned to Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

Rajasthan is the latest entry to the lot and submitted a memorandum on Monday asking for central assistance of around Rs 1,800 crore to tackle the drought situation in the state, an official from the Union agriculture ministry told IANS.

Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Haryana and Jharkhand are the other states that have asked for additional funds to compensate their drought-hit farmers, the official said declining to be named.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sanctioned Rs 1,540 crore for Karnataka and Rs 934.32 crore for Uttar Pradesh when he met the respective chief ministers on Saturday.

These sanctioned amounts are in addition to the funds released by the Centre as part of the National Disaster Response Fund for the two states.

Modi also met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take stock of the drought situation in the state. The amount sanctioned to the state has not been made official yet.

Over 27,000 of the total 43,000 villages in Maharashtra are reeling under drought of varying severity this year, while in Odisha, 27 out of the total 30 districts have been officially declared drought hit.

The Telangana government has also declared 231 of its 443 administrative blocks as drought-affected.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is also expected to meet the prime minister later this week and apprise him about the situation in his state, agriculture ministry officials said. Andhra Pradesh has declared that 359 of its 670 mandals have been affected by drought.


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