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Row over drought, BSP stages walkout

THE GOVERNMENT?S definition of drought annoyed BSP members in the Vidhan Sabha today. The government said none of the districts had been officially declared ?drought-hit? as Kharif crop loss of more than 50 per cent crops had not been reported from anywhere. This angered the BSP MLAs who staged a walkout in protest.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2006 11:34 IST

THE GOVERNMENT’S definition of drought annoyed BSP members in the Vidhan Sabha today.

The government said none of the districts had been officially declared ‘drought-hit’ as Kharif crop loss of more than 50 per cent crops had not been reported from anywhere. This angered the BSP MLAs who staged a walkout in protest.

Participating in a debate, Swami Prasad Maurya and others of the BSP alleged that the government had announced no relief even though farmers had lost their crops due to poor rainfall and various districts were facing acute drought.

Replying to the debate, Revenue Minister Ambika Chaudhary said that, as per rules and norms a district could be declared drought-hit only when 50 per cent or more loss to standing crops had been reported.No such case had been reported from the State, he said.

Chaudhary, however, admitted that drought-like situation prevailed in parts of Meerut, Jhansi, Saharanpur, Chitrakoot, Etawah, Bareilly and a few other districts but situation was well under control. He also informed that a contingency plan to deal with drought had already been prepared by the concerned departments.

The BSP members alleged that the government was not alive to farmers’ problems and staged a walkout in protest against the Government apathy.

The drought issue also rocked the lower House. In the Vidhan Sabha the BJP today assailed the State Government of failing to protect people from flood in the State. The party said even after a warning by Nepal about the release of water into Ghaghra and Saryu, the government did not take measures to evacuate people from the affected regions.

Pressing for an Adjournment Motion in the Vidhan Parishad due to flooding in Barabanki, Shravasti and Bahraich (caused by release of water from the dam in Nepal), Raghoram Mishra (BJP) said the Nepal government had alerted the Indian government, which in turn had intimated the state about rise in water level in the two rivers. But the government failed to make arrangements to rescue the people. Mishra said apart from massive loss of property, there were several casualties too.

He said the administration in three districts was in hibernation, when the rising water played havoc in the region. Shyamnandan Singh (BJP) also criticised the government failure.

House leader and Family Welfare minister Ahmad Hasan, however, refuting charges said that the government had extended all facilities to the affected people. While rejecting the motion, chairman Shukhram Singh Yadav directed the government to give a statement on the issue.