In order to discuss the drought and water scarcity situation in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, State’s Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and officials from Centre and State met in New Delhi today. Initiating the discussion, the Prime Minister stated that the Centre and States have to work together to mitigate the problems faced by the people due to the drought. He also called for focus on medium and long term solutions for drought-proofing.
The Prime Minister stressed on the use of technologies like remote sensing and satellite imaging for planning of water conservation and recharge structures. The need to change cropping patterns based on scientific advice, use of sprinkler and drip irrigation, fertigation for increasing water use efficiency, community participation, especially women, for better water management, was stressed. The Prime Minister also called for treated urban waste water to be used for farming in the adjoining areas. He mentioned the need to monitor delivery of water through tankers in the affected areas, using technology such as GPS.
The meeting also discussed how best the period before the upcoming monsoon can be utilised for water conservation and recharge efforts. This includes efforts at desilting, recharging of rivers, check-dams and other water storage mechanisms.
The Chief Minister apprised the Prime Minister of efforts undertaken for mitigation of problems faced by people due to drought conditions. These include provision of drinking water, food to the needy in Bundelkhand, employment, water and fodder for cattle, and efforts for long and medium term solutions. He further said that the State has undertaken preparatory steps to implement the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in right earnest.
The State shared the action plan for revival and restoration of 78,000 water-bodies including tanks, ponds, and farm ponds; one lakh new water-bodies and recharge structures. This will be achieved by utilising funds available in schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana.
An amount of Rs. 934.32 crore has been released to the State under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), after adjustments of the State’s balances. This is in addition to Rs 506.25 crore released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16. A further amount of Rs. 265.87 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17.
The State has submitted a fresh memorandum on May 5, 2016 for assistance for the Rabi 2015-16 season. The Prime Minister directed that the process be completed, and assistance be provided without delay.
The NITI Aayog also outlined the steps taken already for the release of funds under the Bundelkhand package.