National Disaster Management Division
Ministry of Home Affairs
Government of India
Contingency Plan – Drought 2000
(Circulated to all concerned State Governments and Central Departments)
Department of Agriculture & Cooperation
Ministry of Agriculture
Govt. of India
Subject: - Contingency Plan for Drought 2000
S.no. Sub-Heads Para Nos
1. Constitution of Group of Secretaries 1.1 to 1.2
2. Definition of Drought 2.1
3. Drought situation 3.1 to 3.4
4. Rainfall background 4.1 to 4.6
5. Short and Long term measures 5.1 to 5.2
6. Contingency Plan 6.1 to 6.5
7. Contingency Plan of Central Government 6.6.1 to 6.6.10
8. Contingency Plan of States 7.1 to 7.2
1. Composition of the Group of Secretaries Annexure –I
2. List of drought prone districts Annexure-II
3. Contingency Plan of Central Government
4. Contingency Plan of Gujarat Annexure-XII
5. Contingency Plan of Rajasthan Annexure -XIII
1. Constitution of Group of Secretaries
1.1 In view of the drought like situation prevailing in some parts of the country and in view of certain indications that South-West Monsoon this year may be less than normal or the rains may not be wide spread and timely with regular intervals, a Group of Secretaries under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Planning Commission) was set up on 23rd May, 2000 to evolve a comprehensive contingency plan to meet the situation of possible inadequate and delayed monsoon this year. The composition of the Group of Secretaries and the terms of reference are at Annexure-I.
1.2 The group in its meetings under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Planning Commission reviewed the drought situation in the country in detail. It called for information from the concerned Ministries/Departments. The Group also called for reports from the Governments of Gujarat and Rajasthan, the two States which faced severe drought situation on account of failure of south-west monsoon during 1999-2000 The Group studied rainfall patterns in the previous years in different States and the resultant drought situation. It also took note of the areas which were classified as drought prone on account of scanty and deficient precipitation during the monsoons. .
2. Definition of Drought
2.1 The Group considered the criteria followed by different States for declaring drought. It noted that declaration of drought was primarily based on the quantum of rainfall, damage to kharif crops and lesser availability of drinking water and less moisture in the soil. It may be mentioned that there is no universally accepted definition of drought. Drought is generally considered to be occurring when the principal monsoon, i.e. South-West Monsoon for those parts which are dependent on South-West Monsoon and North-East Monsoon for areas dependent on North-East Monsoon, fail or are deficient or scanty. Monsoon failure results in crop failure, shortage of drinking water as well as undue hardship to the rural and urban community. There is no provision for declaration of drought by Government of India. Drought is declared for each State or part of the State by the State Governments under the Relief Manuals or similar documents of the State Governments.
3.0 As per reports received during the last quarter of the year 1999 and first quarter of 2000 from the State Governments, 11 States experienced drought conditions of varying magnitude. Gujarat and Rajasthan were the worst affected States. The Government of Andhra Pradesh had also reported the drought situation to be severe.
3.1.1 As reported by the State Government, 9449 villages in 155 taluks of 17 out of 25 districts with a population of 250 lakhs were affected. The failure of fodder crop affected livestock population of 71.33 lakhs. Banaskantha, Jamnagar, Kutch and Patan districts were severely affected. Foodgrain production is estimated to be lower by 29.45% compared to that of last year. Oilseeds production is estimated to be lower by 49.23% as compared to that of last year. The crop area under foodgrains, oilseeds and cotton has gone down by 4.27 lakh ha during the last kharif and Rabi seasons.
3.2.1 23,406 villages in 26 out of 32 districts with a population of 262 lakhs were reported to have been affected. Cattle population of 345.60 lakhs faced shortage of fodder. Ground water level went down and there was shortage of drinking water. Foodgrain production was estimated to be less by 22.88% as compared to that of last year and oilseeds production was estimated to be less by 17.20%. The crop area under foodgrains, oilseeds and cotton was estimated to have gone down by 25.97 lakh ha during the last kharif and Rabi seasons.
3.3 ANDHRA PRADESH:
3.3.1 17431 villages in 688 mandals in 18 out of 23 districts were reported to have been affected. The crop area under foodgrains, oilseeds and cotton went down by 10.39 lakh ha during the last kharif and rabi seasons resulting in production loss of foodgrains (14.5 lakh tonnes), oilseeds (5.2 lakh tonnes) and Cotton (6.1 lakh bales).
3.4.1 The details in respect of other drought-affected States are given below:
State Total No. No of Districts Cropped area
Jammu & Kashmir 14 6 2.96
Karnataka 28 21 18.48
Madhya Pradesh 62 10 9.53
Manipur 9 5 0.71
Mizoram 8 3 0.51
Tripura 4 4 0.20
West Bengal 20 3 1.20
4.1 As per rainfall pattern seen from data for the past 14 years, out of approximately 90 million hectares rainfed areas, about 40 million hectares are more prone to scanty or deficient or no rain during South West Monsoon season which is the main season for rainfall in the country. Approximately 80% of the total rainfall in the country is precipitated during the South West monsoon in North, North-East, Central and Western India while the southern peninsula receives about 60% rainfall during the South-West monsoon and the remaining during post monsoon and winter season. It is noted that the frequency of deficiency of rainfall in monsoon is mainly in nine meteorological sub-divisions namely Saurashtra, Kutch and Diu; Gujarat Region, West Rajasthan, East Rajasthan, Marathwada; Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi; Hills of West U.P; Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura; and Kerala.
South –West Monsoon 1999
4.2.1 At the end of the south-west monsoon season 1999, 7 out of 35 meteorological sub-divisions, namely Saurashtra, Kutch & Diu (-58%), Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry (-36%), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (-29%), Kerala (-25%), Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi (-25%),Gujarat Region (-24%) and West Rajasthan (-24%) had rainfall deficiency as mentioned in the brackets.
4.2.2 The actual rainfall during the post monsoon period (October to December, 1999) was deficient or scanty in 9 out of 35 Meteorological Sub-divisions. As compared to the normal, rainfall was –25% each in coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalseema, -47% in Telangana, -50% in Jammu & Kashmir and –82% in Himachal Pradesh.
4.2.3 The actual rainfall during the winter season (January – February, 2000) as compared to the normal was deficient or scanty in 19 out 35 Meteorological Sub-divisions. Rainfall was –99% each in Gujarat region and Saurashtra, Kutch & Diu, -97% in west Madhya Pradesh , -77% in east Rajasthan, -66% each in east Uttar Pradesh and east Madhya Pradesh -62% in Bihar Plains, -40% in Arunachal Pradesh and –27% each in Sub Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Meghalaya.
4.3 Pre Monsoon Rainfall 2000:-
4.3.1 Gujarat region received +273 % rainfall, Saurashtra, Kutch & Diu received +15% rainfall, West Rajasthan received –34% rainfall and East Rajasthan received +166 % rainfall during pre monsoon (March-May, 2000) period.
4.4 South- West Monsoon 2000-Forecast
4.4.1 The group noted that the pre-monsoon forecast of southwest monsoon 2000 for the country has been predicted as normal by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Still there may be some parts, as happened last year, in different parts of the country, which may receive late, delayed, and not wide spread rainfall. The Chairman suggested that it was necessary to have a month to month action plan and keep a watch as the monsoon progresses. Action points/issues, which emerged after detailed deliberations, are explained in the Contingency Plan.
4.5 South-West Monsoon 2000 – Mid Season Review
4.5.1 The Group noted that as per the forecast of India Meteorological Department rainfall is expected to be normal, making this year the 12th normal monsoon year in succession. The monsoon set over Kerala on 1st June 2000 i.e. on the normal date of its onset over Kerala and covered the entire country by 2nd July 2000, about a fortnight earlier than the normal date. The total rainfall during the first two months has been evenly spread across the country but was deficient over Saurashtra & Kutch, Kerala, Nagaland, Manipur& Mizoram and Island territories. The States affected by drought last year viz. Gujarat, Rajasthan & Andhra Pradesh received good rainfall during this year so far for the country as a whole, the cumulative rainfall during the period 1st June to 31st July, 2000 has been normal i.e. 98% of the long period average. The rainfall was excess to normal in 29 out of 35 Meteorological Sub-Divisions of the country covering 72% districts and 89% area. The rainfall for this period for the country as a whole and over the three broad homogeneous regions was as given below:-
Rainfall realised in June-July 2000
As percentage of As percentage of
Area June-July normal June-September normal
Country as a whole 98 51
Northwest India 120 55
Peninsular India 96 51
Northeast India 89 48
4.5.2 It is seen that this year the rainfall distribution compares well with the best years in the last decade. Also the IMD has predicted that the rainfall over the country is expected to be normal during the second half of the monsoon season.
4.6 South-West Monsoon Rainfall 2000:-
4.6.1 As per reports of IMD, for the week ending 20th September, 2000, from 1st June, 2000 to 20th September, 2000, following Meteorological Sub Divisions received deficient rainfall as stated below:-
(a) Saurashtra, Kutch & Diu - (-43%)
(b) West Madhya Pradesh - (-35%)
(c) Andaman & Nicobar Islands - (-33%)
(d) Gujarat Region - (-29%)
(e) East Madhya Pradesh - (-28%)
(f) East Rajasthan - (-28%)
(g) Lakshadweep - (-24%)
(h) West Rajasthan - (-22%)
(i) Kerala - (-21%)
(j) Orissa - (-18%)
4.6.2 Before the onset of monsoon, the States of Gujarat and Rajasthan had experienced severe drought due to failure of monsoon in the previous year. Parts of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa also experienced drought last monsoon. The monsoon so far in the above mentioned Meteorological Sub Divisions is deficient. The State of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh (Chhatisgarh) and parts of Bihar(Jharkhand) and Orissa need to be watched and appropriate drought management measures seem to be necessary to avoid any drought like situation by the time winter rains are over. The matter needs to be taken up with these States once the South West Monsoon season is over on 30th September, 2000.
5.1.1 Short-term Measures:
(a) Providing drinking water by better management of water sources in the affected areas by -
i) collecting available water and supplying it either by pipes or by tankers including railway tankers/wagons to the affected areas; or
ii) by exploiting the possibility of new sources of water such as tube-wells, deepening of existing tube-wells, etc.
(b) Providing fodder for cattle and other livestock affected by drought.
(c) Providing employment to the drought affected people so that they may have some income in lieu of the loss of income caused by the loss of crops. ( At least one person in a family should benefit out of the employment oriented schemes during the drought period.)
(d) Ensuring that the required amount of foodgrains is made available through the Public Distribution System.
(e) By optimising irrigation support to the crops out of existing facilities.
(f) By cultivation of short-duration varieties of crops after the drought situation is relieved by some rainfall.
(g) Watching the epidemic situation and ensuring that no epidemics break out.
5.1.2 Medium and Long term measures:
(a) Developing drought resistant varieties of crops and propagating their spread.
(b) Completing quick maturing irrigation schemes and ensuring water flow in the medium-term, say, within 3 years.
(c) Taking up watershed development activities and developing a cropping system based on such watershed development.
(d) Rain water conservation including roof-top harvesting.
(e) Afforestation of all exposed hill-slopes as per `Ridge to Valley’ Watershed Development approach and increasing forest canopy cover in order to ensure conservation of rain water.
(f) All works in drought affected areas should ensure sustainability.
(g) The State Governments should interact with local/state level NGOs in drought related activities.
(h) The State Governments should try to construct check dams in the drought affected areas with actual participation of beneficiaries/NGOs so that the stored water could be used for various purposes during drought.
5.2 Of the above mentioned measures, the provision of (a) drinking water, (b) fodder for livestock, (c) food and (d) employment for the people in the affected areas is considered to be of prime importance
6.0 The Group in view of the position brought out above and after detailed deliberations and taking note of past experience has proposed this contingency plan, for networking the efforts of the State Governments and different Ministries/Departments of the Central Government.
6.1 Nodal Agency:-
Department of Agriculture & Cooperation will be the nodal Department for implementing the Contingency Plan and will keep close liaison with the State Governments and the concerned Departments of the Central Government.
6.2 Deficient and Perennial Deficient Areas :-
6.2.1 India Meteorological Department (IMD) has categorized and identified the districts in the country which generally received less rainfall into deficient and perennial deficient areas. List of such districts is enclosed at Annexure - II.
6.2.2 IMD shall submit a weekly report to all concerned highlighting the areas, which were receiving less rainfall during the Monsoon. Such vulnerable areas will be closely watched as SouthWest Monsoon progresses.
For declaring an area to be drought affected, amongst other parameters and in addition to rainfall precipitation, the availability of ground and surface water, agriculture production loss in the previous kharif and rabi season and the prospects of the ensuing kharif and rabi season will be taken into account.
6.4 Measures for Contingency Plan:-
6.4.1 Contingency Actions will be initiated from time to time as the drought situation develops and target specific appropriate measures in regard to the following will be activated by concerned Departments: -
i. Foodgrains availability
ii. Drinking water
iv. Health and nutrition for human beings.
v. Wage employment
vi. Health management of livestock
vii. Kharif and Rabi crop management
viii. Post-drought agriculture rehabilitation
ix. Management of ground and surface water.
6.5 Assistance/Support by Central Government to the State Governments: -
a. Adequate availability of foodgrains at BPL rates. The feeder godowns should have more than adequate stocks in advance. Availability of additional foodgrains under Public Distribution System shall be 40 Kg. per family per month.
b. Wages and employment programmes will be activated to sustain livelihood and check migration. All wage and employment programmes will have a component of food for work. Arrangements will be made to supply of foodgrains at the work site itself.
c. Scheme of drinking water supply will be the first priority in such areas and these schemes would also be linked to re-charge of ground water.
d. In all drought affected areas, use of water for drinking purposes will have to have the first charge.
e. Special programmes will be initiated for upkeep of the health and nutrition levels particularly of women, children, old and infirm people.
f. Fodder and livestock management will be initiated in these affected areas.
g. Ministry of Railways will move water and fodder free of cost from places of availability to places of shortage.
h. There should be total prohibition of use of fossil water through out the country and this should be resorted to only when there are no options or alternatives in case of emergencies.
i. Water harvesting will be implemented as one of the programmes for drought - proofing.
j. Water rate structures will be so formulated as to discourage farmers from using ground water for agricultural purposes if the total availability of water in the area does not permit extensive use.
k. Industrial and agricultural development in these areas will have to be linked to the availability of ground and surface water after meeting the requirement of drinking water.
l. There will be alternative plans for kharif and rabi production depending upon the rainfall scenario. As a long term measure, the State Governments should also be advised to first complete drought –proof steps in identified perennial areas and accord priority to the related schemes.
m. Planning Commission while approving plan allocations, should ensure that the outlays for States have components for natural calamity prevention and preparedness.
6.6 Contingency Action Plans received from Central Government Departments
6.6.1 Contingency Action Plan prepared by the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation envisages State wise action plan containing measures in case monsoon is delayed from 2-3 weeks up to 10-12 weeks. The plans for the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan are at Annexure – III-A. The Department is keeping a watch on agriculture production in the drought prone States/Districts and has advised the respective State Governments to take necessary steps for maintaining agriculture production at the level of previous year’s Kharif and Rabi production. The Department has also advised the State Governments to prepare contingency action plans month wise for each State. The Department also advised various Central Government Ministries/Departments to take necessary action in the months of August/September so that the effect of drought could be mitigated. The Crops Division has prepared contingency action plans for other States also which could be activated as and when need be. The contingency action plan prepared by the Rainfed Farming System (RFS) Division of the Department contains common approach for watershed development and operational guidelines for National Watershed Development Programme for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) Scheme. The contingency action plan for the Rainfed Farming System is at Annexure – III-B.
6.6.2 The main responsibility of the Department of Food & Public Distribution is making available sufficient quantity of foodgrains as well as storage of foodgrains in the drought affected States. The Department had made additional allocation of foodgrains at BPL rates to the drought affected States of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh for distribution to the population in the drought affected areas @ 20 k.g. per family per month in addition to the normal TPDS allocations. There has been no additional demand for foodgrains from drought affected States. The Department could be asked to enhance allocation of foodgrains at BPL rates to any of the drought affected States in future and also make provision for adequate supply of foodgrains in the drought affected States whenever such need arises. The contingency action plan of the Department of Food & Public Distribution is at Annexure – IV
6.6.3 Contingency Action Plan prepared by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare contains guiding principles for health sector drought management and action taken/proposed to be taken by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for Health Sector Disaster Management. It contains steps to be taken by the State Governments including general steps, planning, action and monitoring during the time of drought. The contingency action plan prepared by the Ministry is at Annexure V.
6.6.4 Availability of sufficient quantity of fodder and looking after health of milch animals during the drought period is the main responsibility of Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying. It should take necessary steps to protect the health of all milch animals by providing vaccines during drought and also make available sufficient quantity of fodder in the different parts of drought affected States so that the life and health of milch animals is protected during drought period. The contingency action plan of the Department is at Annexure – VI.
6.6.5 Contingency Action Plan prepared by Department of Drinking Water Supply says that the Drinking Water Supply to rural areas is a State subject and the Department supplements the efforts of the States by providing funds under Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP). Funds are released under ARWSP to the States subject to the matching provision by the States under the respective State sector MNP. There is no provision in the guidelines for making additional releases to the States suffering from natural calamities like cyclones, droughts, floods etc. The Department proposes to issue a set of guidelines to the States. The need for taking up rain water harvesting and watershed programmes, construction of check-dams, water conservation measures etc. are being emphasised in the said guidelines. The contingency action plan of the Department is at Annexure – VII.
6.6.6 Contingency Action Plan of the Ministry of Water Resources says that the primary responsibility of drought management is with the State Governments and for this purpose appropriate water management is required in the deficit areas. It also contains some guidelines for water management like releases from the reservoirs to be regulated keeping in view the possible water deficit and likely demand during different periods of the year and advising the State Governments to grow only the less water demanding crops and drought resisting crops and varieties where there is shortage of water. The Ministry has prepared a Model Ground Water Legislation Bill and has sent it to the State Governments to regulate and control the development of ground water. Central Ground Water Authority are also proposing in their bye–laws that in areas where there is a scarcity of ground water, its uses should be limited to drinking purposes only. The contingency action plan of the Ministry is at Annexure – VIII
6.6.7 The Department of Rural Development has prepared a Plan concerning Watershed programmes. According to these plans the objectives of watershed development programmes are to promote economic development of the village community through optimum utilisation of natural resources and employment generation and to encourage restoration of ecological balance in the long run. The contingency action plan of the Department is at Annexure – IX
6.6.8 Contingency Action Plan of Ministry of Railways says that in case of drought in 1999-2000 in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh the Railways were asked to move water and fodder free of cost to the drought affected areas and that they have activated their infrastructure accordingly. In case of drought in any other State, the Ministry of Railways could be asked to provide transportation of water and fodder to drought affected states free of cost. The contingency action plan of the Ministry is at Annexure –X
6.6.9 Contingency Action Plan of the Department of Women and Child Development envisages guidelines about Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) which has been designed for fulfilling the deficiency of nutritional requirement of children below six years of age, pregnant and lactating women from vulnerable sections of the society. The contingency action plan of the Department is at Annexure XI
6.6.10 The Department of Revenue has informed that no tax is payable on any gifts made on or after 18th October, 1998 for drought relief purposes. Also there is nothing in the Income Tax Act which hampers NRI donations to any funds. However, donations from abroad are regulated by the FCR Act.
7. Contingency Plans of States
7.0 As the contingency plans have to be implemented by the concerned State
Governments, the State Governments of Gujarat/Rajasthan were requested on 3rd July, 2000 to chalk out contingency plans and submit the same to Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC). The State Governments of Gujarat and Rajasthan have submitted their respective contingency plans. The highlights are as given below:-
7.1 Contingency Plan of Gujarat
7.1.1 The Government of Gujarat has prepared a contingency plan for water harvesting/water conservation measures which is at Annexure – XII. The Government of Gujarat has initiated “Sardar Patel Participatory Water Conservation Project” and has earmarked sufficient funds from the budgetary provisions for taking up construction of dams, check dams, percolation tanks etc., in the scarcity hit districts of Saurashtra and Kutch regions. These public oriented works are getting large scale participation of people. 60% of the cost will be borne by the Government the remaining 40% cost is met through contributions from the beneficiaries. More than 8900 checks dams have been constructed against target of 2100 checks dams. NABARD has sanctioned financial assistance Rs. 57.00 crore to the State Government for Water Conservation and Ground Water Recharge Works.
7.2.1 The Government of Rajasthan has prepared a contingency plan for water
harvesting/water conservation measures which is at Annexure – XIII. It says that Irrigation Department had executed 1870 water conservation works at an estimated cost of Rs. 17.00 crore during 1999-2000 which are providing assistance in conservation of moisture in the field. In addition, the Watershed Department is implementing various schemes. Also, deepening of a large number of wells was taken up last year as part of scarcity relief measures and farmers are using these wells for life saving irrigation wherever necessary. The State Government is equipped with 1.25 lakh sprinklers to meet the requirement of water in the dry spells. In case heavy rain occurs in the later part of the monsoon season, the State has potential to take up crops such as gram, rape and mustard with residual/conserved moisture.
8. Coordination and community participation
8.1 The Group has suggested that for effective, efficient and transparent management of drought, the States should take following steps: -
(a) The States should keep regular liaison with the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, the nodal department for disaster management and also with other concerned Central Government Ministries/Departments
(b) All the works relating to drought management should ensure sustainability.
(c) Help of local/State level NGOs should be taken for construction of water conservation sources and management of drought.
(d) Necessary steps should be taken to conserve/enhance agricultural production in the drought affected areas in the kharif and Rabi seasons.
(e) Releases from the reservoirs are to be regulated keeping in view the possible water deficit and likely demand during different periods of the year.
(f) Prime consideration be given to drinking water supply.
(g) Since there is shortage of water, the farmers may be advised to grow only less water demanding crops and also drought resistant crops.
(h) Reuse of waste water be undertaken wherever possible.
(i) Arrangements for rain water harvesting are to be made by construction of tanks and other structures like checkdams.
(j) Ground water recharge schemes be designed and implemented.
(k) There should be strict control on digging tubewells and restriction on electric connections.
(l) Wherever possible sprinkler and drip irrigation schemes/technology be used.
(m) People should be educated to conserve available water and to put it to maximum use.
(n) The State Government should form vigilance squads for on the spot inspection of drought related works undertaken in drought affected areas.
(o) Drought management should be transparent and local community should be associated.