The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, has demanded Rs.11,669 crore from the central government for drought relief.

Mr. Chauhan had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday and requested him to provide financial assistance to Madhya Pradesh to “meet the unprecedented drought situation prevailing in the state for the last 10 years, barring 2003-04.”

The Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, however, has called this demand unnecessary after the Planning Commission’s recent sanctioning of a 16,174 crore financial package for Madhya Pradesh for the year 2009-10.

The Congress spokesperson, K.K. Mishra, blamed the State government for financial mismanagement of central funds. He also said that the State government had not been able to develop the State’s financial resources.

Mr. Chauhan, meanwhile, has declared that 37 out of the 50 districts in the State are drought-hit. Madhya Pradesh has received only 447 mm of rainfall against the average 675.5 mm this year. If the bad spell of monsoon continues, this could be the century’s biggest drought in the State.

Concerns of drought in several regions of the State have been raised by the civil society as well.


A video on groundwater depletion in IndiaAugust 20, 2009