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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today directed district collectors to stay alert before the unseasonal low pressure rains from December 7 and ensure safety of harvested paddy crops.

Speaking on the CM’s minutes of video conference with the district collectors, Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupad Sethi said administration in various districts has been asked to spread awareness among farmers to save crops from the upcoming cyclonic rain so that they shift their harvested paddy stored in mandis and fields to safe places and keep it properly stacked and covered to avoid any loss or damage due to rain.

The Collectors have been asked to use funds from Regulated Marketing Committee (RMC) for the purpose of advertising and public announcements about the weather and crops safety.

This apart, CM Patnaik has also directed the Collectors to complete disbursement of agriculture input subsidy of Rs 718.5 crore to the farmers affected by drought, pest attack and unseasonal rain by December 15, Sethi said

The meeting comes against the backdrop of the Indian Meteorological Department’s forecast of heavy rainfall in the state from December 7 due to development of a low pressure over Bay of Bengal.

The fresh low pressure which is presently centred on South-South East Andaman Sea is likely to intensify into a depression in the next 24 hours and subsequently turn into a deep-depression in the next 2-days thereby moving towards South Tamil Nadu and South West Andhra Pradesh in the next 3 days.

Also Read: Odisha Gears Up To Protect Crops Amid Rain Forecast

On Monday, Director of regional meteorological office, Sarat Sahu said, “Coastal and interior pockets of the state especially districts like Koraput, Gajapati, Khurda, Ganjam, Cuttack, Puri, Jagatsinghpur are more likely to get heavy rainfall due to the low pressure”.

Meanwhile, the rain forecast has made harvesting a daunting task for lakhs of farmers in the state who are already struggling with crop damage due to pest attack and unseasonal rain. As per assessment by the state government, about 8.5 lakh hectares of crop area had been affected by these three disasters which hit the farmers during the current year.

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