Bundelkhand, Vidharbha and Marathwada regions in India are facing severe drought situation. Prime Minister Narenda Modi had announced a high level review of drought situation in these regions.
Drought situation review of Bundelkhand: Meet chaired by HM recommended Rs1304 Cr for drought relief to UP— ANI (@ANI_news) April 10, 2016
Govt announced development works worth Rs.372.8 Cr for Bundelkhand region, a road map will be chalked out soon. pic.twitter.com/jF9PNYugEM— CMO Madhya Pradesh (@CMMadhyaPradesh) April 4, 2016
First such review meeting was held in PMO recently and Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh and his team made a presentation. At the meeting following steps were taken to bring relief for the farmers of Bundelkhand.
High Level Committee chaired by the Union Home Minister has recommended Rs. 1,304 crore for drought relief to UP under National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). The State Government would disburse the relief amount directly into the bank accounts of farmers within a week.
It was decided that Government of UP will forward a Memorandum for Rabi 2016 soon.
Ministry of Home Affairs will examine if an exemption can be given under SDRF on 25% limit and continuation of distribution of food component beyond 90 days.
Chief Secretary, UP informed that a comprehensive contingency plan to address the drinking water situation in Bundelkhand region especially Mahoba, Chitrakoot and Banda districts of Chitrakoot division are ready. He further assured that drinking water will be made available.
Employment and livelihood
Provision of extending mandays from 100 to 150 under MNREGS in the Bundelkhand for financial year 2016-17 was approved.
MNREGS extended from 100 to 150 days in Bundelkhand in 2016-17 by @PMOIndia given the drought there. Rural workers now assured 150 day wages— Aman Sharma (@AmanKayamHai) April 10, 2016
State Government will ensure distribution of Rs. 700 crore released under the labour component of MGNREGS directly to the eligible beneficiaries via electronic payment system.
It was decided that to provide alternate source of income National Rural Livelihood Mission would be strengthened and intensified and coverage would be extended to all the blocks.
Chief Secretary, UP confirmed that NFSA has been implemented w.e.f. 01.01.2016. Accordingly, food grain allocation has been enhanced in Bundelkhand.
State Government was advised to ensure Aadhaar seeding of MNREGS beneficiaries and ration cards on high priority.
During the meeting, implementation of previous Bundelkhand package was high on agenda. It was brought to the notice that Rs. 264 crore was released by NITI Aayog on 31st March 2016 to complete the committed liabilities on ongoing projects in UP as a one-time grant.
It was agreed that the State Government would ensure completion of all ongoing 37 Piped Water Schemes on priority. Further, the warehousing marketing infrastructure built under the package needs to be better utilised.
It was also decided that water tanks, building of dug wells, farm ponds would be taken up on priority under various projects and schemes for Bundelkhand.
CEO, NITI Aayog in consultation with State Government will explore the possibility of taking up fresh projects for drought proofing from the resources available under the package for Bundelkhand region.
It was brought out that Sesame is the most important Kharif crop in Bundelkhand. It was agreed that MSP for Sesame for 2016-17 be announced expeditiously.
A bonus of Rs. 20 for Bundelkhand region over and above the MSP shall be considered. State Government would finalise a procurement plan for Sesame in consultation with Secretary, Agriculture.
To focus on boosting agricultural production and productivity in Bundelkhand region State Government will send a proposal for introduction of a new sub scheme under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
It was noted that the coverage of crop insurance scheme in UP is between 7 to 10% only. However, the coverage in Bundelkhand due to distress situation is around 30 percent.
More than Rs. 250 crores in Rabi 2014-15 and around Rs. 180 crore in Kharif 2015 has been distributed as claims benefitting around 3.34 lakh and 2.16 lakh farmers respectively.
State Government was asked to ensure maximum coverage of farmers in the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and it was agreed that the State Government would hold district wise camps to ensure that both loanee and non-loanee farmers are covered in a campaign mode.
Secretary, Water Resources was requested to ensure release of funds on priority for the nine ongoing projects under Repair, Rejuvenation and Restoration (RRR) of water bodies.
CEO, NITI Aayog, Secretary (Water Resources), Principal Secretary (Irrigation), UP will meet on 12th April, 2016 to resolve various issues pertaining to Arjun Sahayak, Varuna and Banasagar irrigation projects.
CEO NITI Aayog in consultation with State Government will also resolve the pending proposals of drinking water at the earliest.
It was also agreed that various development proposals especially under PMGSY, drinking water, village electrification etc. should have wider consultation with local public representatives especially Members of Parliament.
As per the Prime Minister's vision and in the true spirit of cooperative federalism, Government of India and the State Government will together work for long term sustainable solutions to address the problem of vulnerable regions in natural distress.