The Centre has recommended 1,304 crore rupees for drought relief to Uttar Pradesh under National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).
The relief measures were decided at a high level committee headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Sunday.
The meeting was part of Prime Minister’s directive to hold high level review of drought situation in Bundelkhand, Vidharbha and Marathwada. The first review meeting conducted was for Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh.
During the meeting, Alok Ranjan, Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh made a presentation and informed that a comprehensive contingent plan to address the drinking water situation in Bundelkhand region especially in Mahoba, Chitrakoot and Banda districts is ready.
He also assured that drinking water will be made available in the region.
The state government would disburse the relief amount directly into the bank accounts of farmers within a week.
It was decided that UP government will forward a Memorandum for Rabi 2016 soon. Union home ministry is examining whether an exemption could be given under SDRF on 25% limit and continuation of distribution of food component beyond 90 days.
In order to secure the livelihood of distressed population of Bundelkhand, the centre approved increasing employment days from 100 to 150 days in the current financial year.
UP government will ensure distribution of Rs. 700 crore released under the labour component of MGNREGS directly to the eligible beneficiaries via electronic payment system.
It was decided that to provide alternate source of income National Rural Livelihood Mission would be strengthened and intensified and coverage would be extended to all the blocks.
In the meeting, Alok Ranjan, Chief Secretary of UP confirmed that NFSA has been implemented with effect from 01 January 2016 and food grain allocation has been enhanced in Bundelkhand.
Centre also advised UP government to ensure Aadhar seeding of MNREGS beneficiaries and ration cards on high priority.
During the meeting, implementation of previous Bundelkhand package was also discussed. It was brought to the notice that Rs. 264 crore was released by NITI Aayog on 31 March 2016 to complete the committed liabilities on ongoing projects in UP as a one-time grant.
It was agreed that the Uttar Pradesh government would ensure completion of all ongoing 37 Piped Water Schemes on priority. Further, the warehousing marketing infrastructure built under the package needs to be better utilized.
In the meeting, it was also decided that water tanks, building of dug wells, farm ponds would be taken up on priority under various projects and schemes for Bundelkhand.
In the meeting, it was agreed that NITI ayog in consultation with UP government will explore the possibility of taking up fresh projects for drought proofing from the resources available under the package for Bundelkhand region.
It was noted that the coverage of crop insurance scheme in UP is between 7 to 10% only. However, the coverage in Bundelkhand due to distress situation is around 30 percent.
A government release stated that more than 250 crores in Rabi 2014-15 and around Rs. 180 crore in Kharif 2015 has been distributed as claims benefitting around 3.34 lakh and 2.16 lakh farmers respectively.
Centre also asked UP government to ensure maximum coverage of farmers in the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and it was agreed that the state government would hold district wise camps to ensure that both loanee and non-loanee farmers are covered in a campaign mode.