Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Even though the Odisha government continues to refute Opposition's claim that several parts of the State are facing a drought-like situation, the BJP and Congress today lashed out at the Naveen government for its alleged apathy towards the farmers' plight in the State.

During the Question Hour in the Assembly on Thursday, Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik said that deficit rainfall has resulted in a drought-like situation in as many as 15 districts of the State. He also accused the government of being silent on rising farmer suicides in the State.

Congress MLA Narasingha Mishra alleged that the government's sheer apathy towards the irrigation projects in the State has pushed the future of farmers into a state of uncertainty. The minister concerned only presented details of the average rainfall across different parts of the State, but didn't speak anything related to drought or the measures that could be taken to deal with it, said Mishra.

"The minister also didn't reply to the question raised on farmer suicides. A farmer has reportedly committed suicide in Bargarh. Now, the suicide spree will continue. This government is claiming itself to be a farmers' government by giving Rs 10,000 to farmers under the KALIA scheme and many farmers haven't received that too," alleged Mishra.

Responding to the allegations, BJD MLA Amar Satpathy said that the government is taking all the necessary steps to deal with the problems that may rise due to the erratic rainfall in the State. "The Water Resources Department is ready to deal with all type of situations. Arrangements will be made by the department to make sure water is available, when needed, in case of deficit rainfall," said Satpathy.