In an interesting turn of events, the apex court asked the central government which might just solve the prevailing drought conditions in the 10 states of the country – why not treat drought as a disaster? Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Central Government this question, which would bring the drought conditions as a disaster. This would mean that the natural calamity would come under Disaster Management Act.
And with drought conditions coming under the Disaster Management Act, more funds can be released to aid the regions affected by this nature’s travesty. A bench comprising of Justice Madan B Lokur and NV Ramana presented the idea to the Central Government.
"Assuming that there is a gross problem in states and people are suffering due to drought, then can the Centre say it cannot intervene and do anything?" the bench asked.
The Centre informed the court that its hands were tied and it could not force states to declare a drought as the matter came within their domain.
Additional solicitor general P S Narsimha said there was no ruling to control the factors affecting the declaration of drought. The bench mentioned that drought could be covered under the Disaster Management Act. Narasimha replied that drought could not be mentioned in the Disaster Management Act, but it could suffice the loss of crops.
The court needed the information on number of people and districts affected by drought. Also the court needed the budgetary allocation for and expenditure of national and state disaster relief funds. The Centre assured that the bench will get the information when the case will be taken up for hearing i.e. on April 19.
Originally Published in Times Of India
Image Credit: India Today