The Centre has declared Kerala and seven other states as drought-affected on Thursday.

 

Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are the other states declared drought-hit. Under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act NREGA scheme, the above states will be eligible for additional 150 days of manual work per household.

 

The Centre will allot Rs 3,000 crore to Kerala, which will be made available from April to June. Specific instructions have been passed on to utilise 65 per cent of the amount for drinking water schemes.

 

The total amount allotted for all eight states is around Rs 24,000 crore.

 

Skymet, a private weather forecast agency, had predicted that parts of west and south India, including Kerala, are likely to experience a deficient rainfall.

 

Following the dearth of rainfall, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had discussed exploring the option of cloud seeding.