ISLAMABAD: Ruling that a "girlfriend culture" has no place in an Islamic society, Pakistan's Supreme…
NEW DELHI: At a time when Maharashtra’s Marathwada region is reeling under severe drought and is facing an acute water crisis, the Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre and said that it cannot turn a blind eye towards the drought-hit states of the country.
Pulling up the Centre for its failure to release the funds to the states for MGNREGA scheme, the Supreme Court said, “Relief has to be provided now and not after one year.”
A bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said, “If you are not releasing the funds, then no one will like to work. States will say they have no funds, so they can’t pay anyone for MGNREGA work. No state will make any commitment to the people.”
Referring to the temperatures which have already soared to 45 degree celsius, the court said, “There is no drinking water, nothing is there. You have to do something and provide relief on time.”
It said as per government’s own figures, average workdays are 48, while the statute says it should be 100 days.
“We should realise that there is a problem. Nine states and now Rajasthan have declared drought. It is difficult to believe that there is no drought in Bundelkhand and Marathwada,” the bench said.
Additional solicitor general Pinky Anand informed the bench that Rs 7,983 crore will be released by the Centre in a couple of days towards wage liability, while Rs 2,400 crore material liability will be cleared in June.
She said that Rs 2,723 crore was being released as wage reliability for the drought affected states.
“This year also, you will face problems. Things will not improve unless you provide funds. One more state Rajasthan has now declared drought. Now the total drought-affected states have gone up to 10.