- PM Modi had invited CMs of three drought-hit states to meet him
- Need tankers to transport water from Bundelkhand dams: Uttar Pradesh CM
- Akhilesh Yadav had refused water train sent by Centre to Bundelkhand
Mr Modi had written to chief ministers of three drought-hit states - Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka - and invited them for separate meetings today to discuss the situation.
At today's meeting with UP chief minister, PM Modi discussed various drought mitigation measures undertaken in the state.
The various drought mitigation measures undertaken in the state were discussed extensively in the meeting.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 7, 2016
After the meeting, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said there is water in the dams of Bundelkhand, only arrangements have to be made for its distribution.
CM @yadavakhilesh & I discussed the need to effectively utilise the period before monsoon for water recharge and conservation efforts.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 7, 2016
"There is enough water in the dams of Bundelkhand. We need tankers to lift it. A train will not be able to reach those villages," Mr Yadav said.
With Bundelkhand, more than half of which lies in Uttar Pradesh, in the grip of drought and elections less than one year away in the state, the meeting was crucial. Sources say the Centre wants to take visible, long-term measures for the region, which is frequently ravaged by drought. But, the ruling Samajwadi Party government in the state is not ready to let the BJP gain ground under its watch.
The Centre had rushed a water train to the region, but it has stayed parked at the Jhansi station. Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti had on Thursday shot off a letter to Mr Yadav asking why the water train demanded by Bundelkhand's lawmakers from Madhya Pradesh was rejected. Bundelkhand has 13 districts spread over Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Mr Yadav wrote back saying there is water in the reservoirs in Bundelkhand and the region needs 10,000 water tankers for transporting it to the regions which are facing stress and not a train.
On the ground, however, water remains a scarce commodity. In Mahoba's Karara Khurd village, 25 of the 30 bore wells have run dry. The 4,000 litre water tanker is not enough for the 300 villagers here.
BJP leader Ganga Charan Rajput told NDTV in Mahoba,"By refusing water the UP govt is not doing the right thing. We did not say anything when he (Mr Yadav) distributed food to drought affected. Why is he refusing water the Centre has sent for the people who need it."
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.