New Delhi: With deficient monsoon rains throughout the country so far, experts have now warned that the drought situation can no longer be ignored and that it is the time to act. Food Minister KV Thomas admitted on Tuesday that the situation is worrisome and that the government will have to take measures to check hoarding as deficient rainfall will lead to crop failure.
Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP) Chairman Ashok Gulati said, "The time for wait is over, a contingency plan should kick in. The issue as it stands today is very close to a drought situation."
Gulati said the contingency plan should have been implemented earlier and that areas having irrigation should be given electricity. "The worst affected states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, parts of western Madhya Pradesh. Punjab has irrigation. If you give them electricity, the crop could be saved," he said.
Gulati also pointed out that the situation won't improve much even if it rains now. "A 22 per cent deficit is an average. If you have one foot in the snow and the other in the fire and you say your average temperature is fine, both your legs will be gone. That is the story today. In the eastern belt you have reasonably good rainfall. Some areas are flooded. Western India is reeling under 30 to 50 per cent deficit. It is a drought in western India. Even if it rains, we have already lost time," he said....