The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chaired a high level meeting on the drought and water scarcity situation in parts of Madhya Pradesh.
Initiating the discussion, the Prime Minister said he is holding separate meetings with Chief Ministers of the drought-affected States, to assess the specific requirements of each, and to focus attention on both immediate and long term measures.
An amount of Rs. 1875.80 crore has been released to the State under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), after adjustments of the State balances. This is in addition to Rs 657.75 crore released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16 to the State. A further amount of Rs. 345.375 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17.
The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan thanked the Prime Minister for his initiative to hold meetings with all drought-affected States. Apprising the Prime Minister of steps being taken for drought relief, he said that 61 lakh farmers have been given a total of Rs. 4664 crore as relief assistance. This is the highest ever in the State of Madhya Pradesh.
The Chief Minister further said that due to preparatory steps taken over the last ten years, the State was relatively well placed to tackle the drought. These steps included creation of water storage structures. He said that despite the second successive year of deficient monsoon, transportation of water is required only in 113 villages. Even if it does not rain till the end of June, this number will be only around 400 villages out of approximately 50,000 villages. He also said that the State is giving highest priority to the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana.
The Chief Minister also outlined the preparations for implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister discussed various agriculture measures including micro-irrigation, use of liquid fertilizer, use of space technology, and focus on building farm ponds.
The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister discussed strategies to increase awareness about water conservation and storage, and involving the youth organizations such as NCC, NSS, NYKS, and Scouts and Guides, in these activities. They discussed enhanced steps for tree plantation and protection in the catchment area of the River Narmada.
The meeting ended with a resolve on the part of the Centre and State to work together.