The government on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that drought had affected nearly 1.5 lakh villages across the country and around a quarter of its population had been impacted.
Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said 313 districts, 1,58,205 villages and 4,44,280 dwellings had been hit by drought and the government was taking efforts to deal with the situation.
He was replying to the discussion on drought, water scarcity and inter-linking of rivers, with members voicing concern over the worsening situation and demanding waiver of loans of farmers.MGNREGS funds raised
“The Centre has allocated Rs. 1,360 crore to Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka well before the drought,” he said, adding there was no lack of funds.
Mr. Singh said the government had also increased funding under the MGNREGS from Rs. 37,000 crore to Rs. 45,000 crore and the man-days had been raised to 252 days.
Members, while participating in the debate, expressed concern over the worsening drought situation and demanded that the government waive loans of farmers and work on a war footing to ensure that people did not suffer for want of drinking water.
NCP member Supriya Sule said the Maharashtra government was not serious and had not done enough to deal with the drought situation in Marathwada.