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Maharashtra government has declared drought in over 29,000 villages of the state, most of them in parched Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. The government through a corrigendum issued from Mumbai clarified that wherever reference is made to a 'drought-like situation' in the state manual, it would be read as drought. The reference is made in accordance with an assurance it gave to the Bombay High Court recently. The state government has also told the Bombay High Court that it has been strictly implementing various schemes and taking measures to mitigate the water scarcity in drought-hit areas, and more particularly in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has also clarified that the villages that have now been declared as affected by drought were already receiving benefits from the government and that the Drought Manual provided only for the word drought-like.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress and the NCP, however criticized the government stating that the Fadnavis Government is not serious in addressing the situation and the belated move was only meant to avoid judicial action.

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