Cabinet secretary calls for joint efforts to tackle drought

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha on Monday called for an integrated action plan by the central and state governments to tackle the drought situation and take steps for water conservation.

Sinha also directed all ministries dealing with the drought situation to release additional funds to the states as soon as the Finance Bill gets approved, as the onset of monsoon is approaching soon.

After a review meeting with chief secretaries of 13 states and secretaries of the union ministries concerned, Sinha asked the central ministries to put an integrated management information system (MIS) in place in consultation with the state governments.

The state chief secretaries raised issues like construction of farm ponds, community ponds, check dams and de-silting measures, and demanded early release of funds to take up the water harvesting measures on a priority basis.

Earlier, in a letter to the state chief secretaries, the cabinet secretary asked them to conserve maximum water during the coming monsoons, which is expected to be good this year.

The chief secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat participated in the review meeting through video conferencing.

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