MP CM writes to Prime Minister

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Bhopal, Jan 17: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to include the Vindhya region's Satna, Rewa and Sidhi districts in a study, for long-term anti-drought measures, by an inter-ministry central team in Bundelkhand region's Sagar, Damoh, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Panna and Datia districts.

''At a meeting in Delhi on January 4, 2000, Madhya Pradesh urged that the three districts be included as they are equally drought-affected,'' he said in a letter to Dr Singh, as per an official release issued here today.

Mr Chouhan wrote that the state government chalked out a Rs 22,250-crore special development scheme for the nine districts where the kharif crop has failed for the fourth successive year. Only 30 to 35 per cent of the sown area have irrigation facilities.

''As an immediate measure the state government has allocated funds for drought relief, employment, potable water and fodder. But these are short-term measures. Farmers' inability to repay bank loans is also a serious problem. The state government expects special central support. This year, 37 of 48 districts are reeling under drought,'' the chief minister pointed out.

He suggested that the number of annual work days be enhanced to 180 under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the release added.


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