Part I

As summer heats strike the entire country, there are many regions in the nation that are unable to access water for the daily needs. Water scarcity situation involves water shortage, water deficit or water stress. There are many factors responsible for this situation like pollution, conflict, climate change, increased demand, overuse of water, drought, global warming etc. The lack of water sources has raised many difficulties in our daily life. In India, the revenue data of various districts has provided a clear indication that dry conditions can bring water scarcity in many parts of the states from April to June of this year. There are many regions that have been facing drought like condition for the second consecutive year.

For this critical condition, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting with the government officers of various states i.e. Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Telangana, and Maharashtra. According to PM Modi, the water crisis is a serious situation to consider as it has been affecting the lives of many people.

1) Chhattisgarh

On 17th May 2016, PM Modi held a meeting with the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Dr. Raman Singh and officials of State and Government of India to discuss the drought and water scarcity situation in the state. CM of the state mentioned about the initiatives for the water conservation measure which include 8055 farm ponds and water bodies and construction of 9851 groundwater recharge structures and construction of 44,181 new farm ponds. Moreover, various initiatives have been taken by the state government in order to provide drinking water and food grains in the rural areas.

He mentioned about the remote sensing technology which is used to determine plan irrigation strategies and watersheds. In order to deal with water scarcity situations, an amount of Rs. 835.695 crore has been released to the state under NDRF (National Disaster Response Fund). Further an amount of Rs. 94.875 crore has been provided as the first installment of this fund for the year 2016-17.

The Chief Minister mentioned about the state programs to construct anicuts and the state govt. afforestation efforts. He also spoke about the state’s strategy to double the farmer’s income by the year 2022. He thanked the PM for implementing the recommendation of 14th Finance Commission. He also mentioned that the state government has successfully restarted the Piped Water Schemes with the additional funds that have been made available to the local bodies.

2) Andhra Pradesh

On 17th May 2016, Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi attended a high-level meeting with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Shri N Chandrababu Naidu and members of State and Government of India. In this meeting, CM mentioned about the efforts of states in reviving lift irrigation schemes, building check dams, progress in micro-irrigation (that has covered a target of 20 lakh hectares) and deploying mobile sprinkle units as part of the drought mitigation effort.

PM reviews drought and water scarcity situation at high level meeting with Andhra Pradesh CM

Under the National Disaster Response Fund, the total amount of Rs. 313.95 crore has been released for this critical condition and a further amount of Rs. 173.25 crore has been provided as the first installment of this fund for this year. PM Modi praised the research programs and practices in various fields. He laid stress on various parameters like water conservation, enhanced productivity, and saving in terms of reduced input costs of fertilizers, pesticides, and labor.

CM also described the brief presentation on how the state government is using technology modes to determine the real-time updates on water and agriculture from the ground. Appreciating these efforts, PM Modi urged the NITI Aayog to set up a task force in consultation with the State that could come up with a model on how to use technology for crop insurance. He praised the initiatives that have been taken in agriculture field like soil health improvement and checking of diversion of urea.

3) Gujarat:

On 16th May 2016, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired meeting with the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Smt. Anandiben Patel and senior officials of state and government of India. He laid stress on water conservation plans, recharge, and the creation of water bodies. During this meeting, it was observed that the water supply through pipelines has been provided to 77% of households in Gujarat State. Due to insufficient rainfall for the second consecutive year, the water scarcity situation is noticed in different regions. So, the water distribution in the remote areas is carried through 568 tankers. PM Modi did appreciate this effort of state government.


He mentioned about 42.3 billion cubic feet storage capacity of dams and ponds i.e. 2.74 lakh pounds, 1.68 lakh check dams, and 1.25 lakh Bori Bandhs which can provide water to 6.32 hectares.

The water saving efforts like micro irrigation that has been achieved in 3789 villages, is a great example for the other states. Even, the creation of an elaborate canal network under the Sardar Sarovar Irrigation Scheme has led to a significant increase in the crop production. It has created a positive on the income of farmers. PM Modi mentioned about value addition in the horticulture and cash crops. He asked the officials to boost up the sectors like bee-keeping, fishery, seaweed and pearl culture.

4) Rajasthan

On 14th May 2016, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired meeting with the Chief Minister of Rajasthan Smt. Vasundhara Raje and other senior officials of the State Government. During this meeting, it has been observed that the state has faced drought like condition for the last 67 years. The government has agreed to release a total of Rs. 911.64 crore under NDRF and first installment will be funded with an amount of Rs. 434.25 crore under the SDRF for this year.

PM laid stress on the mass movement for the generation water conservation plans. He urged youth organizations like NSS, NYKS, Scouts and NCC to actively participate in creating the water shortage structures. He asked the government to involve public for the traditional water storage structures in the state. For agriculture, micro irrigation and rain harvesting methods should opt so that farmers can continue their work effectively. In Rajasthan, seven lakh water conservation structures will be established in the next four years.

5) Jharkhand

On 14th May 2016, Indian PM Modi held a meeting on drought and water scarcity situation with the Chief Minister of Jharkhand Shri Raghubar Das and other senior officials of the State. According to statistical reports, it has been observed that total amount of Rs. 273 crore has been funded under SDRF and Rs. 143.25 crore has been provided as the first installment. Even the state has also disbursed Rs. 376 crore to 12 lakh farmers under SDRF, through DBT. Insurance claims of Rs. 53 crore were also settled through DBT.

In Jharkhand, plans will be executed to double the irrigation area from 19 to 40% in the next two years. The state government is also looking forward to water conservation techniques by building additional five lakh ponds under MNREGA. Along with this, rain harvesting techniques will be started so that the farmers can reduce the production cost of crops.

PM Modi emphasized on the importance of regular soil monitoring process with the soil health cards. According to him, “Mobilization, Momentum, and Mechanism” are required to implement the modern agriculture techniques. The advanced technology modes are also used to find out the water bodies in the expecting areas.

Contributor:Sunpreet Kaur