Supreme Court seeks sops data for drought-hit states

Centre told it is mandatory to collect info on availability of essential commodities in 11 affected states.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to furnish data of social welfare schemes in the 11 drought hit 11 states of UP, MP, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharastra, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh Haryana and Odisha.

A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and R.K. Agrawal made it clear to the Centre that it will have to collect data from these states on rainfall received, availability of dal and edible oil, status of implementation of National Food Security Act, mid-day meals and food-for- work schemes.

The bench passed this order on a public interest writ petition filed by Swaraj Abhiyan for a direction to provide necessary relief and compensation to farmers and other classes of citizens suffering from the harsh effects of second consecutive drought year in 11 states.

The PIL sought court’s intervention to deal with drought which is snowballing and resulting in severe livelihood crisis, mass migrations, severe malnutrition, starvation deaths, fodder crisis for cattle, increasing debt-burden on farmers leading to intensification in farmers’ suicides.

The petitioner said the country experienced ano-ther drought (14 per cent deficit rainfall) this monsoon which further aggravated the situation caused by last years’ drought (12 per cent deficit rainfall) and the extensive damage to Rabi crop early this year.

This was only the third time in the last century when the country experienced consecutive droughts. The drought this year affected 39 per cent area of the country.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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