Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Congress today cornered the Odisha government over lack of adequate measures to protect farmers who are now staring at possible drought following deficit rainfall in the State.

Congress MLAs Narasingha Mishra and Santosh Singh Saluja alleged that five districts in Odisha have received 40 percent deficit rainfall since June first week and as a result; a farmer in Bolangir district has committed suicide.

Though the State government claims that 43 percent land is irrigated, in reality only 3 percent of agricultural land is irrigated while no steps are being taken despite several districts facing drought-like situation at regular intervals, Congress members alleged.

“There has been 26 % deficit rainfall in Odisha and 41 % deficit rainfall in Bolangir. A farmer in Bolangir committed suicide due to deficit rainfall. The State government has failed to take steps to tackle the drought situation in Bolangir and other parts,” said Saluja.

Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said that drought-like situation is being experienced in several districts while the situation is worse in Bolangir district.

“If the State government still claims that there is no crop loss due to deficit rainfall or there is no drought-like situation, we will force the government to depute a Committee to take stock of the situation,” said Mishra.

Later, Odisha Assembly Speaker SN Patro directed Revenue and Disaster Management minister to furnish a reply in the House within two days.

“The matter is under the consideration of the Speaker and appropriate decision will be taken in this regard,” said Government chief whip, Pramila Mallick.

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