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Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high level meeting on the drought and water scarcity situation with Chief Ministers of Telangana and Madhya Pradesh yesterday. During the discussion, Mr Modi said, he is holding separate meetings with Chief Ministers of the drought-affected States, to assess the specific requirements of each, and to focus attention on both immediate and long term measures. 
During the meeting with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, an amount of 1875.80 crore rupees has been released to the State under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), after adjustments of the state balances. This is in addition to 657.75 crore rupees released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16 to the state. A further amount of more than 45 crore rupees has been released as first installment of SDRF for 2016-17. 
They also discussed strategies to increase awareness about water conservation and storage, and involving the youth organizations such as NCC, NSS, NYKS, and Scouts and Guides, in these activities. They discussed enhanced steps for tree plantation and protection in the catchment area of the River Narmada. Earlier in the day, during his discussion with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandra Sekhar Rao, the Prime Minister said, more than 712 crore rupees has been released to the Telangana under the National Disaster Response Fund, after adjustments of the State balances.
He said, this is in addition to 205.5 crore rupees released as central share of State Disaster Response Fund for 2015-16 to the State and a further amount of 108 crore rupees has been released as first installment of SDRF for 2016-17. The Telengana Chief Minister apprised the Prime Minister of the progress made in Mission Kakatiya, which aims at rejuvenation of water tanks and other water storage structures in the State. The Chief Minister shared details of the State Government’s ambitious project of Mission Bhagiratha, which aims to provide safe drinking water to rural households. 
Several historical examples, as well as global best practices in the area of water storage and irrigation were discussed. Mr Modi stressed on the importance of using urban waste water for irrigation in adjoining rural areas. He said that remote sensing and space technology can be used to identify blocked water channels, which can then be targeted for desiltation through public participation. The Telangana Chief Minister also spoke of the progress made in micro-irrigation, which has so far covered 40,000 hectares in the State. 
In the course of the meeting, the Chief Minister of Telangana thanked the Prime Minister for launching the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, which he described as a very good scheme for farmers. Mr Rao also thanked the Prime Minister for the amendments to the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority Act. He suggested that the Union Government should now evolve a strategy for effective utilization of the Fund. 

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