New Delhi: About 4.41 lakh rural habitations are facing drinking water scarcity and the government is closely monitoring the drought situation on a daily basis in 10 states, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Saturday.
"There are 1.71 million rural habitations in the country. More than 25 per cent of these habitations (4,41,390) are facing drinking water scarcity," Singh said in a statement.
Asserting that the government is closely monitoring the situation on a daily basis, the minister highlighted the measures taken to address the water crisis.
Water trucking through tankers to 15,345 habitations has been made, 13,372 private bore wells have been dug to augment water supply and 44,498 new bore wells have been commissioned, he said.
As many as 7,38,650 hand pumps have been restored/repaired and additional 10.76 lakh meters of riser pipe to boreholes have been connected for accessing deeper groundwater reserves.
That apart, 1,398 temporary piped water supply have been established, he added.
Singh said the Centre responded rapidly to the gravity of the drought situation immediately after the IMD's monsoon forecast in April last year.
The timely assistance to farmers ensured that in spite of two successive droughts, the overall agriculture production has not dipped and food stocks are adequate, he added.
The minister said the Food Law has been implemented in all the drought-hit states and beneficiaries are receiving food grains at highly subsidised rates.
Majority of the drought-affected states have obtained financial approvals to serve mid-day meals during summer vacations in their drought-hit districts/areas, he said.
The minister also said work days under MGNREGA have been increased from 100 to 150 days to households in drought-hit regions. More than 20 lakh households have availed this opportunity.
That apart, every block in the drought-affected areas is being targeted for intensive work under Deen Dayal Antyodaya Mission, he added....