Third Of India Drought-Hit, Govt To SC
The central government Tuesday told the Supreme Court that more than one-third of India’s districts are affected by severe drought, raising the court’s anxiety over steps being taken by the the Centre and state governments in providing imminent relief.
Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha informed a bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur that 256 of 675 districts in the country have been declared drought-hit.
The law officer added that at least 33 crore people in these 256 districts are affected by drought. “Is that not more than 25 per cent of the total population of our country?” said the bench. The ASG said the total population affected by drought has been arrived at by taking into account the individual population of each district. Narasimha also said more than 130 talukas in the country have been declared drought-hit.
The government’s submission prompted the bench, also comprising Justice N V Ramana, to take stock of the relief measures as it questioned the ASG over the Centre’s preparedness to handle the situation. It also underlined that three central statutes — MNREGA, Food Security and Disaster Management — must be implemented properly to ensure people are able to survive the situation.
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