Congress leader Narayan Rane on Friday alleged that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis did not do anything 'substantial' to provide succour to the drought-hit farmers of Marathwada during his tour this week.
"Fadnavis just made hollow announcements during his hurriedly organised trip ahead of Japan visit which will be his sixth foreign trip in ten months," the former Chief Minister said, speaking to reporters in Mumbai.
Narayan Rane. File pic
"Why has the Chief Minister not announced drought relief package? Why is there no planning of water usage? He has only said the water will be brought to Marathwada by railway. But there is no word on whether the waggons have been arranged to transport water to the drought-hit areas," Rane said.
The Congress leader said he was in the drought-hit districts of Marathwada in the last week of August and was shocked by the apathy of the administration. "District collectors have no powers to take immediate decisions, unlike in the previous government where they had Rs 10 crore at their disposal. Quality of water supplied through tankers was bad and tankers have stopped plying in many villages because of non-payment of arrears," he said.
The government resolutions (GRs) regarding setting up of cattle camps with 22 pre-conditions were so harsh that nobody was ready to set up camps, he said. "It is the government's job to curb corruption. But it does not mean it should stop the existing system like cattle camps," Rane said.
The water storage in reservoirs in Marathwada was just eight per cent while in Beed district it was only two per cent, he said. "No work under Employment Guarantee Scheme is available and people are going hungry," he added.
If the CM was serious about his tour of drought-hit areas, he would have taken local MLAs along, he said. Rane, a former Shiv Sena leader, also took a swipe at its president Uddhav Thackeray. "He would go to Marathwada and criticise the government despite (his party) being in power," he said.