Drought grips Ma­ha­rash­tra

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT - MORE AR­EAS

in Ma­ha­rash­tra are to be of­fi­cially de­clared drought-af­fected. An­other 5,700 vil­lages are to be added to the list of drought-hit ar­eas, tak­ing the to­tal num­ber of vil­lages which lost more than 50 per cent crops to around 24,000. This fig­ure is twice the num­ber of vil­lages af­fected by the 2012 drought in the state. The find­ings have come to light in the fi­nal Paise­wari sur­vey con­ducted by the State Rev­enue Depart­ment. The fi­nal re­port of the depart­ment is likely to ar­rive soon. State Chief Min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis said in the Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly that the state gov­ern­ment has asked the Cen­tre for 3,925 crore for drought re­lief. He, how­ever, added that if the num­ber of af­fected vil­lages in­creases, then the aid will also have to go up, and the cur­rent aid plea only takes crop dam­age into ac­count. The new aid pack­age will also in­clude pro­vi­sions for wa­ter and fod­der, he said.

VER­BA­TIM

Mar­cus Erik­sen, Direc­tor of Re­search and co-founder of the 5 Gyres In­sti­tute

"There are ar­eas of the ocean that have very lit­tle plas­tic, but I don't think you will find plas­tic-free seas any­where in the world to­day"

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