The editorial “Drought and crisis management” (Aug. 18) is an eye-opener. Schemes such as a “pond in every farm” should be implemented without delay. Agricultural scientists and experts should come to the rescue of farmers in distress. Lack of will on the part of our politicians is largely responsible for the poor monsoon management.
The editorial should be read by crisis managers for follow-up action to tackle drought. Vast areas of India are now affected by drought or drought-like conditions. As with any disaster, the poor are the worst-hit. The rural poor, who depend entirely on agriculture for survival, are now suddenly deprived of their livelihood. The farmers who give us our daily bread should not go hungry. Free distribution of food grains through the PDS, agricultural subsidies, alternative employment and a check on the prices of essential commodities are some steps the government should take to mitigate their suffering.
G. David Milton,
The government must first explore options of procuring food grains at cheaper rates as the drought is going to force us into entering the world grain market which is already at record low inventories. India has serious water scarcity. On the one hand, the state has taken upon itself the role of sole provider of water. On the other hand, effective use of rainwater and floodwater has declined. There is growing reliance on surface water (rivers) and groundwater. Water availability, both in terms of quality and quantity, has declined alarmingly.