Surveys have shown that the districts namely Datia, Tikamgarh, Jhansi, Mahoba and Hamirpur districts were facing severe drought vulnerability followed by Lalitpur, Jalaun and Banda.
There is a steep decline in vegetation from the year 1998 to 2009 resulting in the conversion of the region from an arid vegetation in few locations to sparse and arid vegetation with the rocky terrain dominating the region.
Stray cattle are everywhere in drought-hit Bundelkhand—roaming the highways at night, foraging in barren fields where no crops have grown in the past year, even just lying down and dying on bone-dry lake beds. Social activist Yogendra Yadav of NGO Swaraj Abhiyan, alleged that three lakh cattle had died in the drought-hit region in the month of May 2016 alone.
Mining and Quarrying:
The value of granite found in UP Bundelkhand districts alone is around Rs 60,000 crore according to UP Directorate of Geology estimates. In Bundelkhand, the sand and stone mining is a Rs 900 crore industry.
Crop fields have been declared as ‘barren land’ and quarrying industry has been set up on farm land. The mining mafias including political leaders in collusion with local administration and pollution control board have got agricultural land declared as ‘barren’ land.
Farmer Migration, Debt and Suicides:
In years of crop failure, villages that have a population composed entirely of SC or ST marginal farmers and landless labourers become deserted. In 2007, 33 of the 200 villages in the Naraini block of Banda district were deserted. In times of crop failure, the proportion of migrants shoots up to over 50% of the working population of many villages.
The total amount of current outstanding rural bank debts in Bundelkhand is Rs 4,370.32 crore. This is 21% more than 2010 when the total bank debts stood at Rs 3,613.22 crore.
In the year 2009, 568 farmers and in 2010, 583 farmers have committed suicide due to various reasons in Bundelkhand as per official records. In the seven parched districts of Bundelkhand that fall in Uttar Pradesh at least 3,000 farmers killed themselves over the last five years, according to official records and suicides reported in newspapers from 2009-14.