Pawar briefs PM about drought-like situation in 4 states

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar briefed PM Manmohan Singh about the drought- like situation in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Updated: Aug 07, 2012, 21:12 PM IST

New Delhi: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the drought- like situation in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan after his visit to these states last week.

"I have briefed the Prime Minister about the visit. I am sending a status report to him," Pawar told reporters.

The minister also informed that the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on drought will meet on August 9 to discuss further steps that need to be taken for mitigating the adverse impact of poor rain in these states.

"The situation is still bad in these states. There is problem in Karnataka, Marathwada and central parts of Maharashtra and Saurashtra and Kutch region of Gujarat," said Pawar, who visited the four states last week along with Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.

Pawar said he had asked these states to give top priority to ensure supply of drinking water and make fodder available for livestock besides saving the standing crops.
The Centre has also suggested that these states work out a scheme for transporting drinking water from available sources. He assured financial support to states in this regard.

"If drinking water is inefficient, we have suggested states to plan up to June-end 2013 for transporting from water sources. The government will share the financial burden. We have agreed in-principle on this issue," Pawar said.

On monsoons situation, the minister said, "First week, we have seen changes for better. There was some rain in the last 2-3 days. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today briefed me that rain in August will be alright but not very comfortable. Their assessment is the situation will improve."