Bolangir: Deficient rainfall and absence of irrigation facilities have dampened the hope of farmers for bumper harvest this year in State especially in western pockets.
As per a report of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), ten districts of Odisha registered 19 to 39 per cent less rainfall than the normal between June and August.
In absence of proper irrigation facilities, farmers especially in Boudh, Sonepur, Bolangir districts of western Odisha apprehend drought like situation. With no other option left, they have started organising special worship to invoke the rain God.
Patnagarh of Bolangir, which is considered to be the drought-hit area, has only three per cent irrigated lands while rest are irrigated with pump sets.
Under severe mental agony, farmers are seriously thinking to migrate to other States in search of a job. “How can I sustain my family under such condition? The government should compensate us during such agrarian crisis. Otherwise, we would be forced to migrate outside the State to work as daily wage labourer,” said Drupad Bhoi, a farmer of Patnagarh.
In some other places, farmers have taken to streets demanding that their areas should be declared as drought-affected.
In Nuapada district, situation has become worse due to a summer-like heat that dashed the hopes of farmers.
“We have no other option other than the government help,” said Digeswar Nag, a peasant in Nuapada district.
Apprehending drought, the Bolangir district administration have started assessing losses. “We have reports of scanty rainfall in some areas of the district. The officials concerned have been asked to assess the losses and report. The process is on,” Bolangir Collector Ashish Thakre said.