Drought situation ‘grim’ as 156 taluks in Karnataka face water crisis

  1. The Karnataka government has stated that the drought situation in the state is grim. Deficient rainfall during kharif and rabi seasons in 2018–19 has had led to water crisis in several parts of the state and worsened the condition of farmers.
  2. Drought is generally considered as a deficiency in rainfall over an extended period resulting in a water shortage causing adverse impacts on vegetation, animals, and/or people. According to India Meteorological Department, meteorological drought (i.e. when dry weather patterns dominate an area) is defined as a situation when the seasonal rainfall received over the area is less than75% of its long term average value. It is further classified as “moderate drought” if the rainfall deficit is between 26-50% and “severe drought” when the deficit exceeds 50% of the normal.
  3. The Karnataka government had also requested the Centre to immediately release funds as stipulated under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to the State.
  4. National Disaster Response Fund is a fund managed by the Central Government for meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation due to any threatening disaster situation or disaster. NDRF is constituted to supplement the funds of the State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) of the states to facilitate immediate relief in case of calamities of a severe nature.
  5. In 2016, the Supreme Court in the case Swaraj Abhiyan Vs. Union of India, had stated that that drought would certainly fall within the definition of “disaster” as defined the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005. The DM Act 2005 provides for effective management of disasters.