A team headed by Union agriculture minister, Sharad Pawar and Union rural development minister, Jairam Ramesh arrived in Ahmedabad on Thursday to review drought-like situation arising due to delayed monsoon.
The team will hold discussions with CM Narendra Modi and senior state government officials in Gandhinagar on Friday. Officials will apprise the team about impact of the poor rainfall on agricultural output, stress on creation of alternate employment opportunities and fodder requirement among others.
“The government will seek central funds to mitigate the situation arising out of poor rainfall in the state. The government will also press for policy intervention by Centre under NREGA and other schemes,” said an official. Centre has already approved Rs320 crore as drought relief package to the state but the government is likely to seek more funds.
Meanwhile, a day ahead of the meeting with the central team, CM Modi and senior government officials were locked in a three-hour meeting at the CM’s residence to review the current situation. It was decided that steps would be taken on war-footing to provide one lakh agricultural power connections at a cost of Rs1,500 crore. Large-scale sowing of fodder will be undertaken in the whole state in next three months.
The government also decided to complete missing works of Narmada canal network so that water-supply arrangement can be put in place for Saurashtra, Kutch and North Gujarat at the earliest.
Later in the day, the two union ministers met Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia, leader of opposition Shaktisinh Gohil, former CM Shankarsinh Vaghela, Siddharth Patel and Narhari Amin, who apprised them of the drought-like situation in the state and asked them to provide maximum relief to tackle the situation.