The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today chaired a high level meeting on the drought and water scarcity situation in parts of Chhattisgarh. The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Dr. Raman Singh, was present in the meeting. Senior officials from the Government of India, and the State of Chhattisgarh, were also present. An amount of Rs. 835.695 crore has been released to the State under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), after adjustments of the State balances. This is in addition to Rs 249.725 crore released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16 to the State. A further amount of Rs. 94.875 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17. The Chief Minister mentioned the water conservation measures initiated by the State. These include desilting of 8055 water bodies and farm ponds, construction of 44,181 new farm ponds, and construction of 9851 ground water recharge structures. The drought relief measures initiated in the State include provision of drinking water and foodgrains in each village. The Chief Minister said that one quintal of rice has been kept with each Panchayat, to ensure that no one starves in the villages. The State has used Remote Sensing Technology to identify watersheds and plan irrigation strategies.
The Chief Minister thanked the Prime Minister for implementing the recommendations of the fourteenth Finance Commission. He said the additional funds that have been made available to local bodies, have made it possible to restart Piped Water Schemes that had stalled due to lack of funds. Now all Piped Water Schemes in the State are functional. The Chief Minister also spoke about the State’s programme to construct anicuts, and the State Government’s afforestation efforts. He presented the State’s strategy for doubling farm income by 2022. The Prime Minister appreciated the preparatory work done by the State for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. He said other States can also study this as a model. The meeting ended with a resolve on the part of the Centre and State to work together.