Kerala facing 'grim' drought, Govt gears up machinery



Thiruvananthapuram: With scorching summer pushing Kerala to unprecedented drought, political parties today voiced concern in the state assembly over the acute water and power crisis even as the Government said it has already taken all possible measures to tackle the "grim situation."

After a three-hour debate on an adjournment motion by opposition LDF, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Rs 159 crore had already been sanctioned to take urgent measures as the government acted well in advance anticipating the trying times in store.

All through the debate on the concluding day of the current session, members from both sides wanted the government to take more steps to alleviate the sufferings of the people.

LDF members came down heavily on the government charging it with failing to rise to the occasion.

Chandy said Kerala was facing the "worst" drought situation in the state's history with mercury soaring to 41 degree Celsius in some parts and for the first time several cases of sunstroke being reported.

He said district administrations had been asked to step up emergency services like drinking water supply.

He said the government had anticipated the situation well in advance and declared the entire state as drought-hit four months back and started works to minimise the trouble.

Referring to the LDF criticism that the government had not taken any effective step to obtain its due quantum of water from Tamil Nadu under the Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP) agreement, Chandy said the state had sent three letters to its neighbour but the government there had only harped on "difficulties and problems".

Kerala, however, had taken steps to move Supreme Court to ensure it got its due share of water under the PAP, he added.

PTI