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Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav seeks Rs. 11,000 cr to meet drought situation

NEW DELHI(PTI):With Uttar Pradesh hit by a severe drought, its Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday sought nearly Rs. 11,000 crore from the Centre as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the situation in the State and directed immediate assistance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav discuss the drought situation in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, in New Delhi on Saturday.

Days after rejecting the Centre’s offer for a water train for Bundelkhand, Mr. Yadav sought financial assistance to buy 10,000 tankers to carry water to villages of parched region and other drought-hit districts of Uttar Pradesh.

“The Centre and the State have to work together…farmers have faced the onslaught of both hail storm and drought…we want to increase the number of tankers to carry water to villagers,” Mr. Yadav told reporters after the hour-long meeting with the Prime Minister here.

Under various heads, Mr. Yadav demanded nearly 11,000 crore from the Centre for drought relief.

Asked why the State government had rejected offer to send water train to Bundelkhand, he said there is water in Bundelkhand but his government needs means to carry it to villages. “Can a train carry water to villages,” he questioned.

At the meeting here with Mr. Yadav which also discussed water scarcity, Mr. Modi said the Centre and States have to work together to mitigate the problems faced by the people due to the drought, a PMO statement said.

He pitched for focus on medium and long term solutions for drought-proofing.

Mr. Yadav apprised the Prime Minister of efforts undertaken for mitigation of problems faced by the people because of drought conditions, particularly in the Bundelkhand region, the statement said,

It was noted that the State has submitted a memorandum two days back for assistance for the Rabi 2015-16 season and the Prime Minister directed that the process be completed, and assistance be provided without delay.

The State shared the action plan for revival and restoration of 78,000 water-bodies including tanks, ponds, and farm ponds; one lakh new water-bodies and recharge structures.

This is to be achieved by utilizing funds available in schemes such as MNREGA and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, the statement said.

The meeting was told that an amount of Rs. 934.32 crore has been released to the State under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), after adjustments of the State balances.

This is in addition to Rs. 506.25 crore released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16 to the State. A further amount of Rs. 265.87 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17.