UP TO LAUNCH CENTRAL SCHEME FOR DROUGHT AT VARANASI
As a major step to fight back draughts in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the State Govt. is planning to start a scheme in the state. The city of Varanasi has been picked to start this new scheme. Varanasi is one of the major cities of Uttar Pradesh and it is also the constituency from where Hon’ble Prime Minister Shree Narendra Modi fights for election. The ruling party’s chief Mulayam Sing’s brother, who is also the Irrigation Minister of the state, has taken the charge to monitor and start the project.
The Central Sponsored scheme – Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) will be supported so as to deal with the draught problems in the state. In November 2015, the state govt. identified around 50 drought hit districts. The IWMP scheme had started years ago in 2009- 2010, before NDA came to power but it was never utilized as promised. No ground level work was done and the scheme faced a failure. Now the state govt. with help from the central govt. wants to implement the scheme in the state.
As per records from Union Rural Development Ministry, UP has not properly utilized the funding given by the centre under the IWMP project. More than Rs. 1800 crore was allocated to the state of UP by the centre, out of which less than one third is used and remaining amount is still unused. In spite of greater allocations of funds from the centre, compared to some other states, the Uttar Pradesh govt. is under utilizing them. Centre promised to provide 90% of the expenditure for the scheme but UP could not utilize the opportunity. As a result, the 71 districts are suffering from droughts every year. Uttar Pradesh is a vast state with a major percentage of population depending on agriculture and cultivation. More than 50 districts are believed to be drought hit this year. And the situation may worsen is proper prevention measures are not taken.
The State Govt. now wants to restart the scheme properly, to tackle droughts. The Scheme will be planned and executed from the ground level and urged the centre to provide the support needed regarding drought management. The central govt. has agreed to lend its helping hand to the state of Uttar Pradesh. Rs. 1,500 crore has been allocated to the state for the project which will be utilized in the first phase of drought management in the state under IWMP.
The 26 worst hit districts will be first looked after. More innovations and technologies are planned to be applied for fighting the draughts and make the next year drought free. Proper ground level planning, design, efficient implementation and execution will be done under the scheme. The irrigation facilities will be improved and watershed management will be carried out in the farm lands. The farmers will be provided financial help in form of low interest loans so that they can set up irrigation facilities in their farms. Currently the IWMP project is modified and named as Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana.