SC directs Centre to set up special force to handle drought

New Delhi: In an endeavor to provide relief to the drought-hit states, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to set up a special force under the Disaster Management Act to handle the same.

The apex court said the farmers’ suicides, stress and migration factors should be taken into account while declaring drought in the state.

The Supreme Court also directed the Union Agriculture Secretary to convene an urgent meeting within a week with the Chief Secretaries of Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana over the drought crisis.

“Today the Supreme Court has delivered the first petition on the draught petition filed by Swaraj Abhiyan. The Supreme Court has pointed out that though the disaster management act required the Central government to set up a disaster relief fund which has not been set up. So, it is required the Central Government to set up a disaster relief force.. Chief Secretaries of Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana to have a meeting with the Central government secretaries over draught,” said Lawyer Prashant Bhushan to the media here.

India is facing one of its worst agrarian crises with back-to-back deficient monsoon. The 2015 southwest monsoon, which irrigates over half of India’s crop area, recorded a 14 percent deficit, while the year before had a 12 percent deficit. (ANI)