SC summons Chief Secretaries of 10 drought-affected states

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New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Chief Secretaries of 10 States to be present before it for their failure to comply with its order to provide relief to the drought-affected areas of their states.

While asking the Chief Secretaries to be personally present before it, the bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice N.V. Ramana directed them to file an affidavit to explain why the directions issued by it have not been implemented.

The Chief Secretaries of Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat have been summoned to appear before the Supreme Court.

The court order asking the Chief Secretaries of 10 States to appear before on it April 26 came on a contempt petition by Swaraj Abhiyan for the failure of these states to comply with the top court order of May 11 and May 13, 2016.

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Besides the implementation of the National Food Security Act, the top court in its May 13 order had directed the setting up of the State Food Commission for the purpose of monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the NFS Act, and the appointment of District Grievance Redressal Officer.

The court said that no household in a drought affected area would be denied food grains as required under the NFS Act merely because they don’t have a ration card.

It had ordered the implementation of mid-day meal scheme with the provision of egg and milk, compensation for crop loss and the restructuring of crop loans.

The top court in its May 11 order had directed the setting up of a National Disaster Response Force within six months, creation of National Disaster Mitigation Fund within three months, and the formulation of a National Plan for risk assessment, risk management and crisis management in the event of a disaster.

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