"Government is fully geared up to tackle any situation arising out of deficient rainfall in the country. We will counter any probable drought-like situation with 1.5 time more speed than it comes," Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said in Rajya Sabha.
Replying to a Short Duration Discussion on deficient rainfall, Singh clarified that the Centre has not declared drought anywhere in the country and it is the prerogative of the state governments.     

Listing out measures initiated to deal with the situation created by weak monsoon, he said contingency plan for 550 districts was ready.
To facilitate irrigation for protecting crops in the event of drought, the Minister said, "I have already held a meeting with the Power Minister for region-wise additional supply of power which includes 400 MW for weak-monsoon regions, 1000 MW for severely-impacted places and 3000 MW for South India."     

The Indian Meteorological Department has projected below normal monsoon at 93 percent of the long period average for the country as a whole. The rainfall in June was deficient by 43 percent and as a result, area under Kharif crops was down by 43 percent till last week.
"On the basis of projections of a deficient rainfall, I have already held a meeting with officials and contingency plans for 550 districts are ready to deal with the situation," Singh said. The contingency plan not only deals with drought situation but takes care of flood in some parts, he said.     

Also, letters were shot to states much in advance on May 15 and June 16 to utilise funds under MNREGA to tackle any such situation.
Seeking cross-party support for the welfare of farmers' community, Singh said the Narendra Modi government which ensured agriculture growth of 11 percent when nation's growth was four percent, was committed towards the sector.


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