Kerala is faced with the threat of a severe drought after two monsoons have drawn a near blank, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said in the State Assembly on Tuesday.
Replying to a notice for an adjournment motion on the subject, he said four districts have already been declared drought-hit.
But more districts would have to be declared drought-hit if the prevailing conditions are any indication, Chandy said.
The situation in Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Kottayam was comparatively better. The Government was preparing to address the dire situation.
Steps have been initiated to provide insurance cover to farmers at risk from the drought-like conditions building up, the Chief Minister said.
He also told the House that a meeting of the Cabinet would decide on how best to protect the State’s interests in the matter of sharing of the Parambikkulam-Aliyar waters.
On the basis of the Chief Minister’s reply, the Speaker refused leave for the adjournment motion. The Opposition walked out in protest.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Aryadan Muhammed announced in the House that a final decision on the Kochi Metro would be taken on January 8.
Union Minister for Urban Development Kamal Nath would arrive in the State Capital to hold discussions in this connection with the State Government. The project would be implemented with ‘metroman’ E. Sreedharan assuming a major role, the Minister said. The State Government was willing to place him suitably in the hierarchy responsible for implementing the project.