Give data on welfare schemes in 12 drought-hit states: SC

New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to furnish data on the implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), mid-day meal and rainfall data in 12 drought-hit states.

Seeking to know the criteria for declaring an area drought hit and rainfall data, the bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice R.K. Agrawal sought information on the availability of one kg of dal, one kg of edible oil, egg and milk for people in drought affected areas in the 12 states.

The court asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to furnish the details by the next date of hearing on January 22.

The court asked the states to furnish the data to the union agriculture and farmers welfare ministry.

The court’s direction came on a public interest suit by NGO Swaraj Abhiyan on the 12 states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Haryana.

Informing the court on the steps taken by the Centre for ameliorating the plight of drought-affected people, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said financial assistance has been provided from the National Disaster Relief Fund and State Disaster Relief Fund to Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhatisgarh to the tune of Rs.1,500 crore, Rs.2,032 crore, Rs.3,044 crore and Rs.1,276 crore, respectively.

Appearing for NGO Swaraj Abhiyan, counsel Prashant Bhushan told the court to direct the government that relief measures should be made available to all without making any distinction in people living below poverty line, above poverty line and others.

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