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Swaraj Abhiyan, CSE demands use of MGNREGA funds for water conservation

The Swaraj Abhiyan And The Centre For Science And Environment (CSE) Under The Banner Of Jai Kisan Andolan, Today Demanded An Immediate Emergency Action On The Use Of The MGNREGA Funds For Water Conservation To Deal With The Severe Drought Crisis That The Country Is Reeling Under.

PTI | Updated on: 01 May 2016, 10:11:43 PM

New Delhi:

The Swaraj Abhiyan and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) under the banner of Jai Kisan Andolan, today demanded an immediate emergency action on the use of the MGNREGA funds for water conservation to deal with the severe drought crisis that the country is reeling under.

“The one immediate thing that the government can do is to declare a national emergency mission for the next two months where MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) is used liberally used all over the country for without any limitation of funds only and exclusively for water conservation, like for improvement of ponds and reservoirs.

“In the long run we need to see this drought not merely as a natural calamity of this particular year, it has to be linked to agrarian crisis and water crisis. Therefore the long term solution would be bringing in changes in cropping pattern, irrigation pattern, to suit local conditions,” said Yogendra Yadav, the national convenor of Swaraj Abhiyan.

“The entire legal and administrative structure of drought management needed unification and sensitization so that drought relief is understood as duty and not charity,” he said.

Yadav also stressed that the Crop Loss Compensation and the recent Crop Insurance should be merged into one scheme which is universal and covers every single farmer, every kind of damage in all seasons and provides adequate fallback for the farmers.

He also stressed on the need for setting up cattle camps in the wake of reports about cattle deaths, “Cattle are dying and instead of useless debates about cow slaughter ban and the best thing would be to set up cattle camps and that has to be done in next ten days.”

Director general of CSE, Sunita Narain put forth three-pronged action plan to combat the enduring crisis, augment water resources, revise and update the drought code and secure water for all times.

“We demand a emergency action on the use of the MGNREGA funds for water conservation for the next months. It has be a war on water conservation. But this time with a difference, we need the money for employment to be used for effective asset creation which would mean building more water harvesting structures based on water planning, shutting off all non essential water use from watering lawns to hosing down cars and benchmarking water use and setting targets for reduced water consumption year on year,” she said.

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First Published : 01 May 2016, 10:09:00 PM