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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Q. Supreme Court order on Draught: comment on recently pronounced order by apex court on draught and its relief related operations.
May 14, 2016 Related to : GS paper- 1, 3 and 2

Ans :


This year more than one-third part of the country is affected by the severe draught situation. Water scarcity is so acute that at least 33 crore people in the 256 districts of the country are facing intense water crisis. In this background Supreme Court while hearing the petition by NGO, criticised both central and state governments for making delay in draught relief related operations and directed them to fasten the draught related relief operations.

Apex court’s observations-

  • Despite having clear indications of water scarcity states like Bihar, Haryana have not declared draught officially and Gujarat state has made unnecessary delay in making draught declaration.

  • Steps taken by State governments irrigation and food-grain production or the presence of perennial rivers are not only factors to determine the drought-like situation. Many man-made factors also contributed for draught conditions.

  • Apex court also criticised central government for making delay in paying the compensation for draught-hit farmers and also for not implementing the Disaster Management Act, 2005 effectively.

Directions by Apex court-

  • Apex court said that draught situation should be addressed by going beyond mitigation process and should also include steps to address various man-made activities which are also responsible factors for water scarcity.

  • As mandated by Section 44 and 47 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the court has directed centre to constitute a National Disaster Response Force with its own regular specialist cadre and a disaster mitigation fund to tackle drought- like situation.

  • The court had fixed December 31 as the deadline for the Centre to update the Drought Management Manual which was published in 2009.

  • Directed the Agriculture Ministry to hold a meeting with affected states like Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana to assess the conditions. It also asked for status report from the Centre on steps taken to implement its orders.


  • Drought is attributed to not just deficit rainfall but also to failure to regulate water extraction, storage, wastage and patterns of use etc. The excessive use of deep bore-wells, poor reservoir management, and lack of water harvesting, over-irrigation has depleted water tables.

  • Hence preparation for drought must go beyond the traditional practices and should include steps to address to above said man-made scarcity. In this direction the orders of apex court is carries the importance in draught relief operations, though at face its looks like another case of judicial overreach.

  • Hence to address the growing water problem in India, it requires a well coordinated effort at all levels of government. Both central and central governments should build consensus and act effectively to address the severe water crisis.


Presently India is facing acute water problem in various states and such problem may arise frequently in coming future. In this background order of the apex court carries most importance. Hence it is the duty of both central and state governments to remain alert, prepare comprehensive plan address these issues and implement court orders without any further delay.

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