In India, almost every year during the summers, the country witnesses the drought condition. The entire population of India is dependent on water for survival and livelihood. Day by day the situation is worsening as India faces a scanty rainfall condition. The groundwater level is gradually declining and the day is not far when the entire country would be left without a single drop of water. It’s high-time that the people, as well as the Indian government, must take necessary steps to curb this severe problem of water shortage.
Approximately 60% of the Indian population is dependent on agriculture which in turn depends on the rainfall. Thus, without rain not only the people but also the agriculture and crops get widely affected. The lack of monsoon affects the major areas of Indian states that include Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and many more.
Almost a quarter of the entire Indian population is facing drought, mostly it is the poor farmers who suffer from crop losses. Due to the scanty rainfall conditions during the monsoon, drought has been faced by India for two consecutive years; almost 10 states have been hit by drought. An alternative solution needs to be developed that would help us in the future so as to save water. The government should make it compulsory for every household to start rainwater harvesting system so that the future generations do not face the problem of a water crisis.
Recently the Uttar Pradesh government has set up a drought monitoring panel. This panel gathers information related to the drought conditions in Bundelkhand as well as in other regions of UP. A customer care number has been provided i.e. 05222237515 where the people can lodge complaints relating to the drought problems. Let us have a glimpse of how Uttar Pradesh has been successful in setting up the drought monitoring panel.
- Raja Ram, the Joint Secretary of Revenue Department has been appointed as the chairman of this drought monitoring cell.
- The monitoring panel would be headed by the officials of UP Calamity Management Authority.
- According to the orders and directives of the National Disaster Management Authority, the monitoring panel is to collect the information relating to the drought situation and submit it to the government accordingly.
- Various control rooms have been set up that will help and monitor the drought situations of the surrounding regions.
- Toll-free numbers have been generated as well as notified to the concerned authorities. The toll-free number is 1070 where the people can share their problems with the respective authorities.
- Relief material, cattle feed as well as drinking water has been distributed to every region of the state.
- Around 692 water tankers have been dispatched that would supply drinking water in 39 districts within the state. Bundelkhand alone has been supplied with 402 water tankers.
- The UP government has promised to provide a monthly free ration to about 2.30 lakh families who belong to the drought affected region. Also, free food packets have also been distributed to the drought affected areas.
- More and more people will be covered under the Samajwadi Pension Plan to ensure that the weaker sections of the society receive the amount of money, as announced by the state government.
- Other measures undertaken by the UP government include the use of solar plants with the help of which water can be generated. The soil gets heated up when the sunlight falls into the pits. As the soil heats up, the water present in the soil evaporates and is collected in the form of droplets. These droplets are stored in the bottles.
- A provision for 24-hour electricity supply has also been undertaken by the UP government.
- The MGNREGA working days has also been increased in the drought affected regions. In a year, 100 working days has been promised by the MGNREGA Act.
Many districts under Bundelkhand like Banda, Chitrakoot, Hamirpur, Jhansi, Mahoba and Lalitpur has been worst hit by the drought. Due to the water crisis, many of the parched lands remain unused and the rural economy has been widely affected. The rivers, ponds, lakes and canals in Bundelkhand have also dried up. Due to high levels of saline water, the problem of drinking water has posed an adverse effect. 3226 hand pumps are being installed in seven districts of the state.
It is worth mentioning and appreciating that the recent steps of UP government has not only relieved the land area there but also has saved many lives including people, cattle, and animals. An amount of Rs.30 crore has been allocated by the UP government so as to solve the crisis of drinking water in Bundelkhand. It is really a great initiative by the government that it thinks and cares for its citizens residing there.