Kerala will face a severe drought this summer as there has been a 20 to 25 per cent drop in rainfall from normal, forcing the government to draw up contingency plans to supply drinking water, water resources minister N K Premachandran said in Thiruvananthpuram on Wednesday.
He said the water level in reservoirs in Kerala had depleted and a drought like situation had already been reported from many parts of the state. As a result, supply of water for small schemes in rural areas, which use motor pumps and hand sets, had already been stopped, he said.
Drought Relief Cells would start functioning by February 15 in all the Kerala Water Authority Divisions to co-ordinate the work, the minister said.
The minister was addressing a joint press conference with Revenue Minister K P Rajendran.
Rajendran said an amount of Rs 17 crore would be released to 14 districts for drought relief work and supply of drinking water. Each district would get a minimum of Rs one crore for drought relief work, he said.
District Collectors have been asked the assess the damage to agriculture crops due to drought, based on which the government would later release funds to farmers, Rajendran said.