Expressing his concern over the delayed monsoon and dearth of rainfall at several places across India, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Sunday asked the state governments to take effective steps to tackle possible drought-like situation.
He said this while addressing a function to mark the release of a book here.
"The country has received 36-42 percent less rainfall this year. Punjab, which is the 'Granary of India', has received 78 percent rainfall. Although, the situation is grim, but it has least affected the agriculture there as the state has sufficient underground water for irrigation. We only have to provide power supply to them along with subsidies on fertilisers," Pawar said.
He added that huge quantities of food grains were lying waste in many parts of the country while the concerned departments have taken no remedial measures or stringent actions.
"Earlier, inadequate water supply was not a big question but the main question was the availability of wheat and food grains. Nobody is concerned about the storage of food grains (that are lying waste in silos and godowns). But for the time being, we can leave the issues related to availability of food grains, and we should start giving serious thoughts on more important issues like food and fodder and rainfall," he added.
Further Pawar noted that six states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana have caused major anxiety.
he said that he would take up thematter with the cabinet ministers of Maharashtra on August 01 and with chief ministers of Karnataka, and Gujarat and Rajasthan on August 02 and August 03 respectively. Following this he would meet the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana and other centrally ruled states to arrive at a conclusion as to how problematic issues can be resolved.