today sanctioned an additional Rs200 crore to address drinking water problems in
Bundelkhand region covering parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The money
sanctioned by the Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, is over and above the Rs7,266 crore special package announced by the
Centre for the drought-prone region after intense lobbying by Rahul Gandhi.
"The additional central assistance will enable the states to address the
problem of drinking water better during the summer months," Information and
Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters. The package as a whole will
enable the people in the region to optimise water resources through rainwater
harvesting and proper utilisation of the river systems along with promoting
diversified agriculture, she said.
Soni said for implementing the drinking water component, the two state
governments will send proposals to the National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA),
which will recommend release of this additional central assistance in
consultation with the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
The Union Cabinet also approved a few adjustments in implementation of the
drought mitigation strategies, which were requested by the two state governments
and NRAA. Madhya Pradesh government has proposed to provide funds for
water-lifting devices and construction of stop-dams in place of the earlier
approved components of farm ponds and recharge of dugwells.
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