The Kerala government on Tuesday decided to declare nine districts in the state as drought-hit. The decision was taken due to inadequate rains, decreasing surface and ground water, and the intrusion of saline water seen in these districts this year.
Kannur, Alappuzha, Kozhikode, Kasaragod, Idukki, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur and Wayanad were listed in the official release issued by the government, according to an NDTV report.
As per the IMD, these districts recorded considerably less rainfall in 2017 during the north-east monsoon in October-December, a TNIE report stated.
Immediate measures such as distribution of drinking water through tankers and kiosks will be taken up in these areas, the report added.
Funds from local bodies will be used for the distribution of water. In the event of the non-availability of funds, the state disaster response fund will be utilised for the same.
The official announcement declaring these nine districts as drought hit will be made by the State Relief Commissioner.
Presently, Idukki does not face a drought situation. However, as the summer intensifies, Idukki's drinking water sources will dry up soon, the official release stated.
The decision to declare the districts as drought-hit was taken by the State Disaster Management Commission in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Apart from the CM, who is the chairman of the Disaster Management Authority, the meeting was attended by the Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan, Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar, Revenue Secretary PH Kurian and Chief Secretary Paul Antony.
In the summer of 2017, state capital Thiruvananthapuram and its surrounding rural areas, such as Pantha, Tholikode, Vithura and other areas such as Vizhinjam were hit by a severe drought, with areas of the capital city not receiving water for 12 days straight in April.
In 2016 too, the state was officially declared drought affected with the annual monsoon reducing by 34% and a 69% deficit reecorded in the north-east monsoons for the year.