While 2015-16, has been an year of one of the worst droughts that Karnataka has seen, in the last 44 years, it is also one of the best examples of state responses to drought relief. The state government has taken many drought relief measures for supply and conservation of water, fodder, employment generation and nutrition. In order to carry these efforts further, in a sustained manner, central support is required.
Karnataka government has ensured regular supply of drinking water. Since January 2016, 1109 villages have been supplied with drinking water daily, through 1598 tankers. To augment water supply, private bore wells have been hired by the state. Block level Control Rooms with Toll Free Numbers have also been set up for lodging complaints on water supply, which are monitored on a daily basis.
A substantial amount has been spent on augmenting supply of drinking water, energization, and fodder supply.23 Goshalas and 104 fodder banks are operating in the fodder scarcity areas across the state at 50 per cent subsidy. The efforts to provide employment under MGNREGA have also been accelerated.
The Central government needs fulfil its promise of cooperative federalism by supporting the Karnataka government’s efforts towards drought-proofing and prevention.