Lauding the power of women, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said usage of latest technology and community participation, particularly ‘Nari Shakti’ could play a key role in effective drought management.
Pointing out of the “productive” meeting with Yadav, Prime Minister Modi said various drought mitigation measures undertaken in the state were discussed during the meeting.
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. “CM Yadav & I discussed the need to effectively utilise the period before monsoon for water recharge and conservation efforts,” he added.
The need to change cropping patterns based on scientific advice, use of drip and sprinkler irrigation, and 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.
Also discussed how best the period before the upcoming monsoon can be utilized 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 because of 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 utilizing funds available in schemes such as MNREGA 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 balances. This is in addition to Rs 506.25 crore released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16 to the State. 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.
The Chief Minister thanked the Prime Minister for this meeting, which he said was a welcome development, given the acute problems being faced by people on account of water shortage, especially in the Bundelkhand region. The meeting ended with a resolve on the part of the Centre and State to work together.
In a marathon meet, Prime Minister Modi will also meet the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Karnataka in New Delhi for discussions on drought and water scarcity situation which has hit these states badly. The Chief Ministers of the drought-hit states are meeting the Prime Minister separately. The ministers and officials of concerned Ministries are present at the meeting.
Apart from taking stock of the situation, Prime Minister Modi will also review steps taken by the states to address drought-related problems. He will also seek details of progress of relief work in the meeting with the Chief Ministers.
Several states have raised issues like construction of farm ponds, community ponds, check dams and demanded early release of funds to take up the water harvesting measures on a priority basis. Earlier, in a letter to the Chief Secretaries of the states, Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha had asked them to take full advantage of the upcoming monsoon session to conserve the water that would be received as rainfall during this period.