On the 10th of May The Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired second round of high level meetings with the Chief Ministers of Telangana and Madhya Pradesh to review the drought and water scarcity situation in parts of these states. These meetings were part of the series of meeting that PM is holding with 11 chief ministers of states that are suffering from drought.
In two separate meeting PM got stock of the drought situation in Telangana and Madhya Pradesh. The meeting was also attended by senior officials from the Government of India and the states of Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.
PM again stressed on figuring out both immediate and long term measures to face drought.
Drought situation in Telangana:
An amount of Rs. 712.62 crore has been released to the State under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), after adjustments of the State balances. This is in addition to Rs 205.5 crore released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16 to the State. A further amount of Rs. 108 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17.
The Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao apprised the Prime Minister of the progress made in Mission Kakatiya, which aims at rejuvenation of water tanks and other water storage structures in the State. The Chief Minister shared details of the State Government's ambitious project of Mission Bhagiratha, which aims to provide safe drinking water to rural households.
Several historical examples, as well as global best practices in the area of water storage and irrigation were discussed. The Chief Minister also spoke of the progress made in micro-irrigation, which has so far covered 40,000 hectares in the State.
In the course of the meeting, the Chief Minister of Telangana thanked the Prime Minister for launching the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, which he described as a very good scheme for farmers. Mr. Chandrashekar Rao also thanked the Prime Minister for the amendments to the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) Act.
He suggested that the Union Government should now evolve a strategy for effective utilisation of the Fund. He also shared the State Government's major plantation drive - Haritha Haram.
Drought situation in Madhya Pradesh:
An amount of Rs. 1875.80 crore has been released to the State under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), after adjustments of the State balances. This is in addition to Rs 657.75 crore released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16 to the State. A further amount of Rs. 345.375 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17.
The Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan thanked the Prime Minister for his initiative to hold meetings with all drought-affected States. Apprising the Prime Minister of steps being taken for drought relief, he said that 61 lakh farmers have been given a total of Rs. 4664 crore as relief assistance. This is the highest ever in the State of Madhya Pradesh.
The Chief Minister further said that due to preparatory steps taken over the last ten years, the State was relatively well placed to tackle the drought. These steps included creation of water storage structures.
He said that despite the second successive year of deficient monsoon, transportation of water is required only in 113 villages. Even if it does not rain till the end of June, this number will be only around 400 villages out of approximately 50,000 villages.
He also said that the State is giving highest priority to the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. The Chief Minister also outlined the preparations for implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
Suggestions by PM:
- Use urban wastewater for irrigation in adjoining rural areas.
- Use various agriculture measures including micro-irrigation, use of liquid fertilizer, use of space technology, and focus on building farm ponds.
- Remote sensing and space technology can be used to identify blocked water channels, which can then be targeted for desiltation through public participation.
- Increase awareness about water conservation and storage, and involving the youth organisations such as NCC, NSS, NYKS, and Scouts and Guides, in these activities.
- Enhance steps for tree plantation and protection in the catchment area of the River Narmada.
- Delineation of the entire country into "crop colonies," so that specific strategies could be evolved accordingly.
The meetings ended with a resolve on the part of the Centre and States to work together to face drought and water scarcity situation.