New Delhi, May 12: The Centre today said it will take immediate steps to implement the Supreme Court's judgement on the drought-like situation in the country.
"We are studying the judgement. We will take immediate action to implement the directives of the apex court," Agriculture Secretary Shobhana K Pattanayak said.
As directed by the Supreme Court, the Agriculture Ministry will call a meeting of the officials of Bihar, Haryana and Gujarat in a week's time to review the drought situation in these three states, he said. In a judgement pronounced yesterday in the petition filed by NGO Swaraj Abhiyan, the Supreme Court had asked the central government to set up a national disaster mitigation fund within three months to tackle the drought-like situation.
It had also directed the government to review the drought-like situation in Bihar, Haryana and Gujarat in a week's time, do the revision of the drought management manual by December 2016, use innovative methods of water conservation and modern technology for early forecast of drought.
The country is facing second straight year of drought because of poor monsoon. As many as ten states including Maharashtra and Karnataka have declared drought in the 2015-16 crop year (July-June).
The Centre has already released more than Rs 12,000 crore assistance to these state governments to address the drinking water, fodder shortage and other problems.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently held a separate meeting to review the drought situation with chief ministers of five states - Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
Modi is scheduled to meet the chief ministers of other drought-hit states in the coming days.