The Soil Health Card scheme aims at delineating the country into ‘crop colonies’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday after Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao made a suggestion in this regard during a meeting to review drought situation in the state.
At the outset, the Prime Minister told Rao he is holding separate meetings with chief ministers of the drought-affected states to assess the specific requirements of each and to focus attention on both immediate and long-term measures.
He has already met the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. In all, he will be meeting chief ministers of 11 states. During the meeting between the Prime Minister and the Telangana CM, several historical examples, as well as global best practices in the area of water storage and irrigation were discussed, a PMO statement said.
Rao suggested delineation of the entire country into ‘crop colonies’ so that specific strategies could be evolved accordingly, it said.
The Prime Minister appreciated the suggestion and said Soil Health Cards aim to achieve the same objective, it said, adding Modi encouraged Telangana to come up with a model plan.
The meeting was told that an amount of Rs 712.62 crore has been released to Telangana under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), after adjustments of the state balances, the statement said.
This is in addition to Rs 205.5 crore released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16 to the state, it said.
A further amount of Rs 108 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17, the meeting was told. Rao apprised Modi of the progress made in ‘Mission Kakatiya’, which aims at rejuvenation of water tanks and other water-storage structures in the state.
He also shared details of the state government’s ambitious project of ‘Mission Bhagiratha’, which aims at providing safe drinking water to rural households.
The Prime Minister stressed on the importance of using urban waste water for irrigation in adjoining rural areas. He said remote sensing and space technology can be used to identify blocked water channels, which can then be targeted for desiltation through public participation.
Rao also spoke of the progress made in micro-irrigation, which has so far covered 40,000 hectares in the state. He thanked the Prime Minister for launching the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, which, he described as a very good scheme for farmers.
He also thanked Modi for the amendments to the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) Act and suggested that the Union government should now evolve a strategy for its effective utilisation.
The Chief Minister also shared details of the state government’s major plantation drive Haritha Haram. The meeting ended with a resolve on the part of the Centre and the state to work together.