AHMEDABAD: Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday demanded inclusion of Vadgam taluka, a part of his constituency, in the list of `scarcity-hit' areas.
He would launch an agitation if the government failed to include Vadgam in the list, he said.
The Gujarat government has declared 51 talukas (tehsils), comprising 3,291 villages, as scarcity-hit owing to scanty rains, and announced that relief measures would be implemented in these areas from December 1.
The list includes nine talukas of Banaskantha district but not Vadgam.
"Why Vadgam was excluded from the list when nine other talukas of Banaskantha district were included?" Mevani asked in a press release.
He accused the government of not following a manual on drought, issued by the Centre, which lays down criteria for declaring an area as affected.
The government should inform how many villages in Vadgam taluka have rain-measuring instruments on the basis of whose readings a village is declared as drought-hit, he said.
The government was being selective in declaring a taluka or a village as drought-hit, and this was "unconstitutional and illegal", the MLA alleged.
"The government should immediately declare areas in Vadgam as drought-hit and supply drinking water as per the manual along with fodder and provide ration to above-poverty line families (too) alongwith the below-poverty-line families, and compensate affected farmers," he demanded.
The BJP government was not declaring certain areas as drought-hit so that insurance companies would not have to pay crop insurance, he alleged.
Farmers in scarcity-hit areas get Rs 6,800 per hectare (the maximum area for which relief is given is 2 hectares), and are provided fodder at Rs 2 per kg.
They also get upto 150 days of employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme instead of 100 days.