The Centre confronted a furious Supreme Court after its lawyer did not show up for a hearing on drought. “Show some seriousness…are we useless?” the judges berated as the Centre requested more time saying the Additional Solicitor General was busy in another courtroom.
“Is this like cattle or something? Go here, go there. This is not your priority? Two judges are sitting here. You expect us to do nothing and just keep looking at the watch waiting for time to pass?” the judges questioned angrily.
Hearing a PIL filed, the court on Thursday called the Centre’s approach to the drought situation ‘non-serious’.
Former Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav has filed a petition in the court demanding relief for farmers of drought affected regions of the country.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court had scolded the government for not doing enough to provide relief in the drought-hit areas.
Pinky Anand had on Wednesday informed the bench, examining various aspects of relief given to drought-hit farmers, that Rs 7983 crore will be released by the Centre in a couple of days towards wage liability, while Rs 2400 crore material liability will be cleared in June. She said that Rs 2723 crore was being released as wage reliability for the drought-affected states.
The PIL filed by an NGO has alleged that parts of the 12 states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chattisgarh were hit by drought and the authorities were not providing adequate relief.
Meanwhile, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Central Government would take due cognisance of the ongoing water crisis in Maharashtra and will sanction funds accordingly, adding that such issues should not be politicised.