Drought situation, power crisis in Odisha man-made: Cong

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Bhubaneswar: Congress today described the drought like situation and power crisis in Odisha as man-made and lashed out at the state government holding it responsible for the plight of the farmers and pushing people into darkness.

“The drought like conditions and power crisis are nothing but man-made. Both the problems are being faced due to sheer apathy and indifference on the part of the state government,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan told reporters here.

Accusing the BJD government of neglecting the farmers, Harichandan said though most parts of the state received scanty rainfall this monsoon, the government failed to conduct a proper timely survey.

The administration was yet to make a proper assessment of the situation in different areas, while farmers were making a desperate effort to save their crops, the PCC chief said.

Hitting out at the state government for failing to draw up any strategy to deal with the situation, Harichandan said the PCC has constituted a committee headed by former union minister Kahnucharan Lenka to review the drought situation in different districts.

The committee would visit various districts and prepare a detailed report on the situation, he said.

Asking the government to take immediate steps to mitigate the miseries of farmers, the PCC chief demanded waiver of loans to farmers and waiver of examination and tuition fees of students in the affected areas.

Harichandan came down heavily on the Naveen Patnaik Government for the power crisis and accused it of failing to prepare any contingency plan to deal with the situation.

People have been pushed into darkness due to power cuts as the government lacked foresight, he said adding, the government should arrange power from alternative sources.

Meanwhile, national president of BJP’s Kisan Morcha, Vijaypal Singh Tomar, who reviewed the drought situation in different areas of Odisha, accused the state government of being insensitive towards the farmers as it was yet to send assessment report on the drought situation to the Centre.

Though the Centre has provided Rs 280 crore under SDRF to initiate steps for dealing with the drought situation, the state government was yet to start any work in this regard, Tomar claimed.

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