By Murari Chaturvedi, Editor-in-Chief, Accommodation Times
After two consecutive years of weak monsoons a quarter of Indians Population, spread across ten states has been reeling with draught. The Supreme Court of India has directed the Centre to setup a Special force under Disaster Management Act to handle drought crisis in the country. Over 60% villages in Maharashtra are reeling from drought this year. The condition is worst in Marathwada region, almost 90% of the total water available for irrigation in Latur districts is used for sugarcane cultivation. The 10 drought hit states in the country are Maharashtra where out of 36 districts, 21 are facing drought. The government had to run water trains to provide water to drought hit regions, especially to Marathwada. Orrisa, where 16 districts are affected by drought. Telangana where all districts except Adilabad and Kamman have been hit by drought. In Rajasthan, 19 out of 33 districts are drought affected. Madhya Pradesh 46 districts out of 51 districts are affected by drought. Jharkhand is facing drought in 22 districts out of 24. In Uttar Pradesh, 50 out of 75 districts have been affected by drought. Karnataka the condition is worsening where 27 districts out of 30 are facing acute water shortage. Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh too are reeling with drought. Other than these 10 states, Gujarat, West Bengal, Haryana and Bihar are nearing drought. Drought is a condition of no rains when the standing crops mostly rain fed gets dried up and is destroyed. Drought is a grave natural calamity that affects life, agriculture and economy. The root cause of this condition is the criminal mismanagement of available water resources. The stories of farmers’ suicide in drought affected areas are increasing. While this man made holocaust is for every Indian to see and feel the heat of the situation, proper planning to new water resource must be found. The ponds culture must be encouraged in all the drought prone areas. The present drought in the country’s recorded history shows that more people are affected than before. To tackle drought all efforts by the government and local bodies must be to take preventive methods. To preserve rain waters in various ways and tap ground water sources to meet drought situations Rain water harvesting must be encouraged by giving the people the training for it. New improved methods of irrigation should be adopted. Forestation must be adopted vigorously. It is high time that all efforts by the government and people should be made to conserve rain water to fight the monster of drought.