With large parts of the state reeling under drought-like conditions, the Gujarat government on Monday sought financial assistance of Rs 1,725 crore from the Centre to carry out various relief works in the affected regions.
The demand was put forward before a central team visiting Gujarat since the last three days to assess the water scarcity situation, which has arisen due to scanty rainfall this monsoon, said Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Pankaj Kumar.
“The Gujarat government has sent a memorandum to the central government in which it has been stated that an estimated amount of Rs 2,900 crore is required to meet the expenses related to drought relief in the state. In this regard, we have sought Centre’s assistance of Rs 1,725 crore,” Kumar added.
“This fund will be utilised in paying input subsidies to farmers, providing drinking water to people, for opening cattle camps, providing assistance to cattle shelters and to distribute fodder in affected regions,” the IAS officer said.
Stating that the visiting team gave a “positive response” on the state’s demand, Kumar said that the government is “confident” of getting central assistance soon.
The nine-member central team, comprising officials from various ministries, had visited Kutch, Morbi, Banaskantha, Patan and Surendranagar districts during the three-day tour. The visiting team held a meeting with Chief Secretary J N Singh and other key officials of the Gujarat government in Gandhinagar upon the completion of their assessment tour on Monday.
The Gujarat government has so far declared 3,367 villages of 51 talukas in the state as scarcity-hit. Gujarat had received just 73.87 per cent of the average rainfall this monsoon.
Kutch had received just 26.51 per cent of average rainfall, while north Gujarat got 42.93 per cent, central Gujarat 66.83 per cent, Saurashtra 72.20 per cent and south Gujarat got the highest of 94.79 per cent, according to Met department figures. (With PTI Inputs)