ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Drought : Outcome of Long Neglect

Outcome of Long Neglect As of now some 11 states are reported to be affected by drought and of these Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra are the worst affected. The toll of distress is enormous: by the end of April 9,421 villages in Gujarat, 23,000 villages in Rajasthan 17,000 villages in Andhra Pradesh and 3,500 villages in Madhya Pradesh had been affected. This means that in these states alone more than 600 lakh people are in a precarious condition. None of this would have been hidden from the several levels of authority over the last year. Rainfall data available as early as the end of the monsoon in September 1999 pointed to deficits over large tracts of the country. Translated this would, by the beginning of the following summer, mean severe water shortages affecting crops as well as drinking water. There has been no dearth of information and fairly accurate data on how acute the situation is. Why then have the governments, in the states and at the centre, done so little to avert the situation and mitigate the distress?

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