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Action plans to tackle drought proposed

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Minister for Water Resources N.K. Premachandran
Minister for Water Resources N.K. Premachandran

Special Correspondent

  • District Collectors to prepare district-level action plans
  • District-level advisory committees to discuss strategies

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Government has directed District Collectors to prepare district-level action plans to tackle the dry spell during the coming months.

    Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran and Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran told a news conference here on Wednesday that district collectors had been told to convene meetings of district-level advisory committees comprising people's representatives and officials to discuss the measures to be taken in their districts by January 31 and be ready with the action plans by mid-February.

    The Government would decide on the utilisation of funds from the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) and seek further assistance from the Centre on the basis of these action plans, they said.

    The Ministers, who were briefing the media after a meeting with the collectors and officials of the Revenue and Water Resources Departments, said the Government was reviewing the strategy of distributing water in tanker lorries in drought-hit areas and places experiencing drinking water shortage as 50 per cent of the tanker lorries being contracted by the Government were not delivering water to the target groups.

    The focus now would be on repairing the hand pumps wherever possible and keeping them ready for use during the summer months, Mr. Rajendran said.

    In the southern districts, the tsunami rehabilitation funds would be utilised to repair pipelines and in Kasaragod, Wayanad and Palakkad districts, as many check dams as possible would be constructed with the Rs.90 crore available for the purpose.

    Project proposals would also be submitted to the NABARD for assistance to construct more check dams. It had been decided to complete 521 micro water supply schemes under the Jalanidhi Project by March 31.

    Steps would also be taken to provide power connections to water supply schemes under the Sujaldhara Scheme on a war footing. The Kerala Water Authority was gearing up for the dry spell and had lined up 97 drinking water supply schemes for commissioning by March 31, 27 of them in February and 54 in March, Mr. Premachandran said.

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