The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired a high level meeting on the drought and water scarcity situation in parts of Jharkhand. The Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Shri Raghubar Das, was present in the meeting. Senior officials from the Government of India, and the State of Jharkhand, were also present. Rs 273 crore was released to the State as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16. A further amount of Rs. 143.25 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17. The State has disbursed Rs. 376 crore to 12 lakh farmers under SDRF, through DBT. Insurance claims of Rs. 53 crore were also settled through DBT. Jharkhand plans to double its irrigated area from 19 per cent to 40 per cent in the next two years. One lakh farm ponds are planned to be built under the State Plan, and an additional five lakh farm ponds will be built under MNREGA. The State is promoting fishery in the water bodies.
The Prime Minister called for a mass movement to be generated for water conservation and rainwater harvesting in a comprehensive manner, and said youth organizations including NCC, NSS, NYKS, and Scouts and Guides should be involved in creation of water storage structures. The Chief Minister informed that tenders for the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana have been finalized in the State. The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of regular monitoring of the progress towards implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. The Prime Minister also called for generating a mass movement for soil health cards. He said ‘mobilization, momentum and mechanism’ are all required to make the soil health card programme a success. He said soil testing should be developed as a skill, and loans can be given for setting up labs through MUDRA. Emphasizing the use of technology, the Prime Minister called for reporting of assets created by MNREGA, through geo-tagging and uploading of photographs with hand-held devices. He also called for all water bodies to be identified through unique numbers and geo-tagging. The meeting ended with a resolve on the part of the Centre and State to work together.