Madhya Pradesh demands Rs.15.5 bn in drought relief

February 19th, 2008 - 11:54 pm ICT by admin  

Bhopal, Feb 19 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh government Tuesday presented a memorandum to a central team which has arrived here to assess the drought situation in the state, demanding Rs.15.5 billion ($388 million) for relief works. Led by S.K. Patnayak, joint secretary in the union agriculture ministry, the central team comprised senior officials like Dinesh Chand, J.D. Sharma, B.P. Nagar, C.S. Sahukar, Vinod Kumar, Mohammad Nauman, S.K. Kandam and A.K. Tiwari.

“The team had a meeting with senior officers of the state who informed them that 37 out of total 48 districts are reeling under drought. Of these, 21 districts are totally affected. The number of drought-affected tehsils is 157,” said a state official.

The state officials told the central team that Madhya Pradesh had been facing drought conditions for the last many years and some areas were facing drought for the fourth year in a row.

Besides, Kharif crops have failed and Rabi sowing has been limited to 30-35 percent due to scarcity of irrigation water.

The central team was also apprised of the measures the state government has taken and the serious drinking water situation in some areas due to declining ground water level and lack of resources.

The state through the memorandum sought Rs.10 billion for providing employment to the needy, Rs.1.42 billion for drinking water arrangements in rural and urban areas, Rs.1.42 billion for food and civil supply and Rs.2.14 billion for energy related works. A sum of Rs.470 million has been demanded for public heath, veterinary works and different subsidies.

After the meeting, the central team preceded to the drought-hit areas.

The team would visit Rajgarh, Shivpuri, Datia, Satna and Gwalior districts. They would return to Delhi Thursday evening.

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