Thiruvananthapuram, March 27: The Kerala government today decided to declare nine of its 14 districts as drought-hit in view of the scarcity of rains, shortage of surface and groundwater and intrusion of saline water. A meeting of the state disaster management authority presided over by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan decided to declare the districts of Kannur, Alappuzha, Idukki, Kasaragod, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur and Wayanad as drought-hit, an official release said.
The official declaration in this regard would be made by the State Relief Commissioner, it said. Besides Vijayan, who is also the authority chairman, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan, Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar and Chief Secretary Paul Antony were among those who took part in the meeting. It was also decided at the meeting that immediate steps would be taken for distribution of drinking water through tankers and kiosks to tide over the drought situation, the release added.
According to the Central Meteorological Department, there was the shortfall of rain during the 2017 North-East monsoon that sets in during October-December. In the hilly Idukki district, presently there was no drought situation. However, it had been included in the list of drought-hit as the main sources of water were expected to dry up as summer intensifies, the release added.