SC sends directions to Centre, states to address drought related issues

New Delhi [India], Oct. 5: The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Centre and the state governments for not complying with the directions to supply food grain to the drought-affected areas under the National Food Security Act.

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who had filed the petition, said, "Today's hearing was about the implementation of the Supreme Court's directions regarding the drought affected areas, where they had given several directions regarding provision of food grains under the Food Security Act, regarding MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and the implementation of MGNREGA, regarding the National Disaster Management Act, regarding declaration of drought, regarding the crop loan compensation as well as loans being given to drought affected farmers etc.

Today, they asked the Central government to respond to these issues." Speaking to the media regarding non-declaration of drought, Bhushan said, "The rainfall figures showed that there are 149 districts in the country which have a drought this year because either they had more than fifty percent deficit rainfall till 31st July or more than twenty five percent deficit rainfall till the end of September and yet drought has not been declared." "It appears that the states and the governments are not bothered, they are going on with business as usual, not concerned about the non-implementation of the courts orders, of the Food Security Act etc.," Bhushan concluded.

The petitioner had sought the court's intervention for relief to the poor people in drought-affected states, including Gujarat, Bihar and Haryana.

Gujarat, Bihar and Haryana have resisted the suggestion that they declare some of their districts as drought-affected.

Source: ANI