The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to set up a Special force under Disaster Management Act to handle drought crisis in the country.The bench was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Swaraj Abhiyan seeking urgent implementation of guidelines for areas hit by natural calamity. Earlier, the court had expressed its concern over low compensation paid to calamity-hit farmers and observed that it was leading some of them to commit suicide.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Giving the directions to the centre, the bench said that Centre should revise the drought management manual to provide effective relief to calamity-hit farmers.”Farmers suicide, stress and migration factors should be taken into account while declaring drought in the state,” reported ANI quoting the court.The top court also said that Centre should define time limit for declaration of drought, and directed Agriculture Ministry to convene an urgent meeting within a week with Chief Secretaries of Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana over drought crisis.The apex court had earlier pulled up the Centre for not releasing adequate funds to states for MGNREGA and asked it to give details of expenditure on the scheme in drought-hit states, saying relief has to be provided now and not after one year.The PIL filed by the NGO has alleged that parts of 12 states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chattisgarh were hit by drought and the authorities were not providing adequate relief

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SC relief for drought-hit farmers; directs centre to create disaster mitigation fund to tackle crisis