In this article, we will discuss Drought Management in India. So, let’s get started.
Drought Management in India
The Government of India has paid enough attention to droughts and drought affected areas right from the first Five Year Plan. Before 1987, the Government tried to development for relief to the people of the drought affected area by providing employment opportunities to the affected population and distribution of food-grains through Public Distribution System (PDS). The contingent drought relief expenditure imposed a serious strain on public finance as huge amounts had to be divested from development for undertaking relief project. In some state like Rajasthan, the drought relief outlays exceeded the developmental outlays.
In order to overcome this problem, the drought management strategy was adopted in the early 1970. The drought management approach differed from drought relief approach with regard to objectives, reliance of early warning indicators and timing of public intervantion. The objective of relief approach was to protect entitlement of the affected population by ensuring physical and economic access to food through relief project and public distribution of food-grains. As against this, the drought management approach aimed at ensuring entitlement to produce food so as to obviate the need for taking up ad hoc relief projects. While drought relief approach relied on socioeconomic indicators like crop production data, price rise, migration of the drought affected people and increased rate of crimes for drought declaration and intervention; drought management approach relied on hydro-agriculture indicators, like rainfall, water level of reservoirs and progress of cropping pattern to detect early signs of developing drought situation. While drought relief approach enable the Government to intervene only in the months of November and December when the rainy season is over and the kharif crop have been harvested, the drought management approach enabled the Government to intervene in the monsoon season itself.
According to the Committee of Disaster Management (2002), drought management is generally done by focusing on employment generation, water conservation, and power supply, standing crop saving and public distribution of supplies of essential commodities.