If I am in power, I will take the following steps to over come the impact of drought,
- Not only remove all restrictions on digging bore wells but will also encourage and assist people to dig bore wells. Ground water level will go down but this does not matter, as when it rains the water level will automatically come up. Government will also dig bore wells near water bodies like lakes, canals etc.
- Wherever and whenever it is possible, artificial rain(cloud seeding) will be tried.
- Water areas like wells, rivers, lakes, canals, water passages will be dredged which may lead to more ground water
- farmers will be advised to refrain from planting crops like paddy which require a lot of water and cultivate drought resistant crops like ragi
- Without any elaborate application from farmers, their lands will be provided with drip irrigation system and sprinkler irrigation system.
- Panchayat, municipal and corporation waste water will be treated and used for irrigation.
- As a long term measure, desalination plants will be established along the coast.
According to FAO, India has arable land of 157 million hectares(ha). It has a population of about 1250 million people. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 8 persons.
Bangladesh has arable land of 7.7.million ha and a population of about 155 million. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 20 persons i.e. about 2.5times that of India.
Bangladesh annually produces about 51 million MT of food grains, mostly paddy(not rice).i.e. about 330kg per head per year while India annually produces about 280 million MT(paddy taken into account- not rice)i.e. only about 225kg per head per year. It is strange that even with low per capita production India occasionally exports food grains while Bangladesh imports food grains.
Bangladesh receives rainfall of about 265 cm annually while India receives only about 110 cm of rainfall. But low production of grains in India is not due to shortage of water,It is due to under utilization of water as can be seen from the very large quantity of river water joining the sea in various parts of India.There shold be more lakes and dams in India and river and rain water should be drained in these lakes and dams .
Bangladesh takes two/three crops in a years on larger proportion of land than India. Average paddy yield in Bangladesh is also high at around 4.3 MT/ha while in India it is about 3.5 MT/ha. Thus while on an ha of arable land Bangladesh produces about 6.5 MT of food grains, India produces only about 1.8 MT(India produces coarse grains on rain fed areas where the yield is very low and this brings down annual production on an ha of land.
India needs to spend more time and energy on finding ways for better utilization of rain/river water -by linking rivers with rivers, rivers with lakes, recharging ground water etc.