New Delhi, May 3: After a review meeting with Chief Secretaries of 13 States and Secretaries, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Urban Development and other senior officials, Cabinet Secretary P.K .Sinha on Monday directed all the Ministries dealing with the drought situation to release additional funds to the States as soon as the Finance Bill gets approved, as the onset of the monsoon is approaching soon.
During the meeting, Sinha called for a coordinated and integrated action plan by the Centre as well as the State Governments to tackle the drought situation and take measures for optimally utilizing and storing rainwater and also taking other measures for water conservation. He also asked for an integrated MIS to be in place by the Central Ministries in consultation with the State Governments.
The Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat participated in the review meeting through video conferencing.
The Cabinet Secretary has asked the Central Ministries to convey to the State Governments the total financial provision for each of the scheme for the whole financial year so that the States can suitably arrange funds from other schemes to mitigate the problem arising out of the drought conditions.
The State Chief Secretaries have raised issues like construction of farm ponds, community ponds, check dams and desilting measures, and demanded early release of funds to take up the water harvesting measures on a priority basis.
Earlier, in a letter to the Chief Secretaries of the States, the Cabinet Secretary has asked them to take full advantage of the upcoming monsoon session to conserve the water that would be received as rainfall during this period. He also reminded them to use the existing water resources most optimally and prudently.