According to the >Drought Management Manual brought out in 2009, a drought is assessed on five parameters.
1. Availability of drinking water
2. Availability of irrigation water
3. Availability of fodder
4. Availability of food grains
5. Energy sector requirement
In 2015, the Centre released a comprehensive >Drought Crisis Management Plan .
Read with the crisis management plan, the manual explains that relief measures must be implemented by State governments with the Central government’s active cooperation.
The manual sets out four important measures that a State government should take at the time of a drought, with the Union government’s help.
1. It should use the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to provide immediate employment to drought-affected people.
2. The public distribution mechanism should be strengthened to provide food and fodder as a measure to sustain the rural economy.
3. The government should initiate actions to recharge the groundwater table by building check dams and providing pipeline water and other irrigation facilities.
4. The government should either waive off or defer farmer loans and arrange for crop loss compensation.