Odisha Govt. Gears Up To Tackle Impending Drought Situation

By Bauribandhu Maharana

14 September, Bhubaneswar

With a drought situation in 103 Blocks covering 22 of 30 districts looming large in 103 Blocks covering 103 over 22 districts in Odisha , State Government has initiated measures to save the kharif crops and to provide relief to farmers.

Concerned over the impending drought due to the scanty rain following monsoon failaure, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who reviewed the crop situation Monday , asked the agriculture department to submit a detailed report within seven days.

Based on the report, drought package would be announced to assist the farmers and emergency plan would be put in place to save the standing crops, said Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy.

Stating that Bargarh, Balangir, Boudh, Dhenkanal, Kandhamal, Khurda, Keonjhar and Subarnapur.are identified as the worst affected districts due to in adequate rain fall , Maharathy said he and Department ministry officials would visit the nine districts soon to assess the situation.

He said the Chief Minister has directed for activating all the lift irrigation points and expediting deep bore well works and to provide Solar pump sets to the farmers. So far 40,000 pumps sets were being provided to the farmers in the affected areas at subsidised price, he said.

In a bid to prevent migration of people from the affected areas, the state government has prepared a Rs 500 crore master plan to create 1.62 crore man days, he said.

Chief Minister has also asked the officials to ensure that 80 per cent of the lift irrigation points become functional by end of October and create check dams to facilitate irrigation, he said.

Over 17,000 quintals of mung and biri seeds, 23,800 quintals of oil seeds and one lakh quintals of paddy have been stored for alternative farming and would be supplied to the drought-affected farmers, he said.

Meanwhile , protesting the inaction of the State Government ,the state unit of the BJP on Monday submitted to the governor a memorandum with a six-point charter of demands on the drought situation.

The demands included compensation to farmers, assessment of losses, and postponement of repayment of loans until the situation improves.

“We visited the drought-affected areas and prepared a report. This year’s drought is more than intense than in 1965. But the government has not taken any steps to meet the situation,” said state BJP president K.V. Singhdeo.

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