Many parts of country – southern, central and western states are facing water crisis due to bad monsoon
AgriNation News Network
New Delhi. 24 June 2019
All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) has alerted the government about the impending drought in the country due to deficient rainfall and drying up of reservoirs in many parts of the country.
It expressed grief over the water crisis due to deficient monsoon which has affected sowing, forced exodus from villages, resulted in wilting away of standing horticultural crops, death of cattle and local conflicts over water sharing.
Calling it a national emergency, AIKSCC asked centre and respective state governments to declare drought in affected districts in accordance with the principles laid down in Manual of Drought Management (revised, 2016) and start the relief and mitigation measures immediately. Supreme Court (Swaraj Abhiyan vs. The Union of India and others, 11 and 13 May 2016) had reaffirmed these principles for government to take steps in such situation.
It further said, “Indian farmers are facing serious nation-wide drought this year, which could be a second consecutive drought in large parts of the country. As of 21 June 2019, the slow progress of monsoon has meant that there was a 42% deficit rainfall compared to the Long-Term Average throughout the country. In all, 85% of the landmass of the country has experienced “deficiency” or “large deficiency” in rainfall so far.”
It also warned that water level in major reservoirs was alarmingly low in Andhra Pradesh (83% below normal), Maharashtra (71% below average), TN (43%), Kerala (38%), Telangana (36%), Jharkhand (26%), Gujarat (24%) and Karnataka (24%).
It demanded that centre and states must proactively respond to this developing crisis and announce a national package immediately for those districts that experienced drought last year and are experiencing delayed monsoon this year.
It also asked the Centre to revise the crop loss compensation (input subsidy) to at least Rs. 10,000 per acre for un-irrigated land and proportionately higher amounts for irrigated land and horticultural crops. To address the irregularities of payments under insurance, it said the process for payment under PMFBY should be revised and the district administration should be made liable for ensuring full and timely payment to the farmers.
AIKSCC also told that the farmers were being denied credit in view of the impending drought and urged RBI to reiterate its standing Guidelines about non-recovery of outstanding loans, rescheduling of loans and grant of fresh loans in drought affected regions.
The Central government should increase the days from 100 to 150 days in MNREGA in the drought affected areas and should consider every adult, rather than every household, as the unit besides ensuring at least one public work in every gram panchayat, it said.
Central Government should issue guidelines under the Disaster Management Act prescribing zero tolerance to any diversion of water for industrial and commercial purpose in the drought affected region, it added.