Government taking steps to tackle crisis: CM

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TNN | Mar 9, 2013, 03.58 AM IST

PUNE: Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday said the state was facing severe water crisis and the government was initiating all necessary steps to tackle the situation, besides ensuring adequate funding to overcome the scarcity.

"Each divisional commissioner and district collector has been told to prepare a detailed master plan for every village and city, spelling out the measures to be initiated to tackle drinking water crisis and make provision for alternative arrangements for water supply if existing water sources go dry," he said

"There are still three more months for the monsoon to arrive. Water crisis during this period will become severe if sources go dry. There is a challenge ahead of us to maintain water supply in areas facing severe scarcity. The administration has been asked to provide drinking water tankers and start fodder camps as per the demand, besides starting works under the employment guarantee scheme," Chavan said.

The chief minister was addressing a function to unveil the draft of state women's policy at Balewadi. The function was organized by the state women and child welfare department on the occasion of International Women's Day. A large number of women from across the state attended the event.

Chavan said the government has tried to prepare a comprehensive policy for women which will be open to public to register suggestions and objections. "We are taking stringent action against doctors indulging in sex determination and those involved in female foeticide. The government recently introduced the concept of 'Women Lokshahi Din' at the government offices to address the problems of women. The government also has introduced fast track courts to handle cases of atrocities against women," he said.

Chavan said the women and child welfare department has been expanding its work in many areas over the last few years. The government will set up a separate administrative office of the department in Pune and will provide adequate funds for the office building. The government would work out a special pension scheme in collaboration with Life Insurance Corporation for Aanganwadi workers, he added.

Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who was present at the function, said, "We will try to hold special discussions during the budget session of the state assembly on women's policy". He also urged the chief minister to appoint a chairperson for the state women's commission.

State minister for women and child development Varsha Gaikwad said the draft of women's policy has been uploaded on the state government's website. It is open for suggestions for the next two months, she added.

Earlier in the day, Chavan inaugurated a fodder cultivation camp at Kiwale and a campaign by the Congress party to provide fodder free of cost to farmers. He said a new account — CM Relief Fund (drought) — has been opened to collect aid for scarcity-hit areas. He appealed to citizens to come forward to donate for the fund.