The Supreme Court has asked the centre govt. to ensure implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and Food Security Act to address drought and distress of people suffering from it.
A PIL was filed by the Swaraj Abhiyan, highlighting delay in MGNREGA payments. The SC said that “the temperature are soaring at 45 degree Celsius , there is no drinking water ,there is nothing there, so the relief must be given immediately not after one year”.
According to estimates wage payments close to Rs 10,588 crore are pending under MGNREGA, which is one of the main programs to counter rural distress.
Nearly nine states in the country are reeling under acute water crisis which has led to severe drought in many states. Droughts have reduced productivity and unlike in the past when reduced productivity was countered by better prices, this time it was not possible due to global depressed prices.
The problem of drought and water management also brings to fore the structural problems of Indian agriculture. Countries like China and Brazil use two – four times less water per unit of major food crop than India. The time has come for revolution in water use efficiency.