Both the Centre and state governments have violated the Supreme Court’s orders on drought relief measures, alleged social activists in a press conference held in Delhi on Thursday.
In May, the court had ruled on a petition filed by Swaraj Abhiyan, a group led by activist-turned-politician Yogendra Yadav. In its order, it had directed the governments of 11 states to ensure food security, access to work and compensation for crop losses, among other relief measures for those living in drought-affected areas.
The states were asked to ensure subsidised foodgrains were distributed to all the families in the area and not just those who had ration cards. However, the activists said none of the 11 states had issued a notification to this effect.
The court had asked the Centre to immediately release payment for work done under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Act. The activists, however, pointed out that a large part of the released funds went towards clearing the pending dues of workers from the previous year. Eighty percent of MNREGA work done since April 2016 has not been compensated, they said.
They also claimed that in more than half the states, mid-day meals to school children were not provided in the summer holidays, despite the Supreme Court’s orders.
Farmers were yet to receive compensation for crop losses and fresh loans, even as they prepare for the next sowing season, they added."A good monsoon might create the impression of prosperity. but please remember the next crop is four months away," said Yogendra Yadav, emphasising the need for governments to implement the court's orders. The press conference was jointly organised by Swaraj Abhiyan, the Right to Food campaign, Ekta Biradari, National Alliance of People’s Movements, among others.