Govt taking concrete steps to tide over drought situation

NEW DELHI, Apr 20: Government is sensitive towards drought and is taking concrete steps to provide permanent solutions to tide over water scarcity in times of poor monsoon, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said today.

As many as 10 states have declared drought in 256 districts in the country due to deficit rains for the second consecutive year, aggravating drinking water problems in states like Maharashtra.

“Our government is already sensitive towards drought and water issues. …We are there for three years. Our government is taking concrete measures to provide permanent solutions to save water and boost water resources via Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, river linking programme and others,” Javadekar told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.

The permanent solutions will ensure people do not suffer in times of drought, the frequency of which is expected to increase due to climate change, he said.

The minister was responding to the queries related to impact of drought in the country.

Stating that the Centre is monitoring the drought-hit states, Javadekar said, “We have released relief funds to states. The Centre is providing whatever support is required by the state governments.”

The Centre has raised the budget allocation for irrigation schemes this year. It is also working with the state governments to find solutions for reducing the impact of drought, he added.

The minister also said water is precious and needs to be saved because India — which has 17 per cent of global population — has only 4 per cent of the world’s water resources. (PTI)