Circular issued in the wake of severe drought in 98 taluks

In the wake of severe drought in 98 taluks of 25 districts, the State government has issued a circular banning drawing of water from tanks for non-drinking purpose.

In his reply to the debate on drought, in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, Minister for Revenue V. Srinivas Prasad said the department had issued the circular to utilise water from tanks only for meeting drinking water requirements in drought-hit taluks.

District-level officials had been told to not to allow utilisation of water from tanks for irrigation purpose, he said.

There was no shortage of funds for implementing drought-relief measures, he said, and added that 89 tankers had been operating to supply drinking water to 89 villages. A sum of Rs. 207.72 crore had been released for implementing drought-relief measures. A sum of Rs. 5 crore had been released to the Animal Husbandry Department to keep adequate stock of fodder. Control rooms had been set up in taluk headquarters to monitor drought situation round the clock.

Earlier, Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri of the BJP and N. Cheluvarayaswamy of the JD(S) raised the issue under Rule 69 of the House and said the government had failed to tackle drought. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act had not been successful in controlling migration of people from drought-prone regions to cities, they said.

Mr. Kageri said long-term measures need to be evolved for increasing groundwater level. All pending irrigation projects need to be implemented on priority for increasing land under irrigation, but the government had allocated merely Rs. 11,000 crore in the budget for the irrigation sector, he said.

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