SC to hear Swaraj Abhiyan's plea seeking assistance to drought victims

4 days ago | 21-03-2017 | ANI

New Delhi , Mar. 21 : The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear the PIL filed by Swaraj Abhiyan, seeking proper rehabilitation and financial assistance to the people of 11 drough affected states.

The plea was filed by a Delhi based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) 'Swaraj Abhiyan', seeking directions from the apex court to the Central and state governments to provide timely and effective relief to drought affected people in several states.

A Bench comprising Justices M.B. Lokur and N.V. Ramana will be hearing the case and senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan will be representing the NGO.

In May last year, the apex court had directed the drought-hit states to provide highly subsidised foodgrains to the affected people under the National Food Security (NFS) Act. The states are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

The Bench had pulled up Haryana, Gujarat and Bihar for refusing to declare drought, despite a sharp fall in the monsoon rains, a primary indicator for assessing people's distress arising from water scarcity and crop failure. Gujarat declared drought only in some areas that too very late.

The Bench had directed all the 12 states, including Haryana and Bihar, to provide five kilogram of food-grains per person a month at the price meant for below poverty line (BPL) families and this should be given to even those above the poverty line (APL) and those not holding ration cards.