The Kerala government on Monday declared drought in the state, saying all 14 of its districts were facing severe water scarcity. Minister for Revenue E Chandrasekharan made the announcement in the Assembly, saying that even 100% rain over the next two months will leave the state with a shortfall of nearly 30% in its water reserves.
The decision to make the declaration was taken at a meeting between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the State Disaster Management Authority. The state is expected to approach the centre’s Disaster Mitigation Authority for assistance, and has put temporary mechanisms into place including a moratorium on agricultural loans, The Hindu reported. District collectors have been asked to follow 26 guidelines on water usage, including re-use, recycling and prioritising needs.
According to the Opposition, the state has received 1,352.3 mm rain this season, as against the average 2,039.7 mm.