ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Parched Earth Policy

Maharashtra's drought has been brought on by short-sighted politicians.

Every passing day brings further confirmation that the drought facing Maharashtra’s 12,000 villages with all the sufferings it engenders is the result of skewed policy priorities. Water has been diverted to industries while starving agriculture, there have been incredible delays in completing crucial irrigation projects which have led to massive cost overruns and there is a total disregard for the small and marginal farmers who form the backbone of the state’s rural population. Worse, the immediate “relief” measures seem to have created further misery for the affected villagers, given the machinations of the water tanker lobby and the soaring prices of bottled water.

The Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report, the meticulous calculation made by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Prayas based on right to information (RTI) data and the government’s own statements unravel a story of short-sightedness and political expediency that have come home to roost. And as usual it is the poor, especially in rural Maharashtra, who are paying the price.

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