Rashmi Ranjan

Scanty rainfall has raised fears of possible drought in several parts of the State while farmers eagerly waiting for a good spell of rains to expedite agricultural activities.

According to reports, while nine districts in Odisha have received normal rainfall, below-average rainfall has been reported in 21 districts so far.

Though as many as four low-pressure systems were formed over the Bay of Bengal in the recent past, only one of them could have a good impact on the State, the regional MeT Office In Bhubaneswar said.

The weather office also predicted that the situation is likely to continue till August 16.

On the other hand, State Revenue Minister Sudam Marndi said the government is well prepared for any drought-like situation.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and well prepared for any drought-like situation. There are still possibilities of rain. Our government is always with the farmers and working towards their betterment,” Marndi said.

Asked if district Collectors have been asked to submit reports on any possible drought-like situation, the Minister said, “The district Collectors submit rainfall data to the Natural Calamities Committee,” he added.

As per the weather bureau, from 1 June to 9 August, Odisha has received 484.8 mm rain which is 28 per cent below the average rainfall recorded in the State over the years.

While Malkangiri received the highest 602.2 mm rain, Bhadrak reported the lowest 296.8 mm rainfall during the period, according to the MeT office data.