Thiruvananthapuram, May 4 (PTI) Kerala government today said Rs 69.9 crore has been sanctioned to mitigate drinking water shortage in the state, which is reeling under drought.
The southern state is passing through one of the worst droughts in the last century, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan said the LDF government had taken all possible steps on a war footing to address the crisis.
“The state has been declared drought-hit in October itself and adequate funds allotted to the agencies concerned to take up anti-drought measures,” he said.
He was replying to a notice for an adjournment motion moved by Congress-led UDF opposition over the difficulties faced by people due to the acute scarcity of drinking water.
“The government has allotted a total of Rs 69.9 crore to address drinking water crisis in the financial year ended this March. Of this, 20.9 crore has been spent so far,” the minister said.
Considering the seriousness of the drought sitation, the Centre has increased the working days under MNREGA by 50 days from the present 100 days.
“This will benefit over three lakh people enrolled in the scheme and will enable the state to get an additional amount of Rs 365 crore under the scheme,” he said.
Based on the memorandum submitted by the state government, a central team had visited drought-hit areas of the state recently, Chandrasekharan said adding that the central relief based on their report was expected soon.
Rejecting the opposition charge that the drinking water supply was affected due to shortage of funds, the minister said there was no financial problem on drought related works.
Over 3000 water kiosks were being operated in the state, he said.
“Drinking water is distributed using tanker lorries in remote areas,” he said.
However, Adoor Prakash (Congress) said the government was just issuing orders and its intervention to address the crisis was not effective.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the opposition did not want to see politics being played out on the issue and staged a walkout.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.