NEW DELHI: Opposition parties are set to raise the issue of drought in the country in a big way in Parliament in second half of the Budget session beginning Monday with several members having already given notices to discuss it.
They have been training their guns on the government on drought accusing it of turning a “blind eye” to the problem and asking for an all-party meeting to discuss it and the resultant water crisis in the country.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and his party colleagues Anand Sharma, Hussain Dalwai, Bhubaneswar Kalita, Rajani Patil, Viplove Thakur, Mohammed Ali Khan, AU Singh Deo (BJD), K C Tyagi(JDU), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), independent member Rajeev Chandrasekhar and nominated member KTS Tulsi have already given a notice to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari in this regard, which has been admitted.
The notice seeks a discussion on the “serious situation arising out of prevailing drought and heat wave conditions and resultant water crisis in the country and the remedial measures taken by the Government in regard thereto.” The notice has been admitted under Rule 177 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business and the issue will be discussed on April 27.
Claiming that the Centre has no “serious” plan in place to tackle drought, CPI had already demanded the government should convene an all-party meeting to discuss the calamity and figure out ways to combat it.
Congress demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi should call a meeting of chief ministers of drought-hit states to tackle the situation on a war-footing. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav recently accused the Centre of turning a blind eye to drought-hit Bundelkhand.
Amid criticism of the government on the drought and resultant water crisis issue, Rural Development Minister Birender Singh has rued that over Rs 1,500 crore central funds are lying unspent in states, which could have been used to mitigate the drinking water crisis in the parched areas.
Singh has been maintaining that he has already asked the states to utilise 10 per cent of the flexi funds lying with them for mitigating the problems like natural calamity even as the Centre was extending support to them.