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Supreme Court slams Centre over drought issue; says ‘show some seriousness’

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A day after rapping the Union Government for not releasing adequate funds to states for MGNREGA, the Supreme Court on Thursday slammed the Centre for not showing a serious approach towards the drought situation.

Hearing a PIL filed, the court on Thursday called the Centre’s approach to the drought situation ‘non-serious’.

The court made the remarks as Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand was not present in court to represent the Government of India, reported ANI.

“Show some seriousness,” said the judge after the Centre asked for more time to file a response as they waited for Pinky Anand to arrive in court for the hearing, reported NDTV.
The judges also questioned if the issue was not a priority for the government.

Pinky Anand had on Wednesday informed the bench, examining various aspects of relief given to drought-hit farmers, that Rs 7983 crore will be released by the Centre in a couple of days towards wage liability, while Rs 2400 crore material liability will be cleared in June. She said that Rs 2723 crore was being released as wage reliability for the drought-affected states.

The PIL filed by an NGO has alleged that parts of the 12 states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chattisgarh were hit by drought and the authorities were not providing adequate relief.

Meanwhile, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Central Government would take due cognisance of the ongoing water crisis in Maharashtra and will sanction funds accordingly, adding that such issues should not be politicised.
Naidu told ANI that the government would call for a committee meeting, which would take a decision and sanction money.

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