Odisha districts facing drought-like situation

Bhubaneswar: A total 107 blocks spread across 12 districts of Odisha are facing drought-like situation and suffered crop loss of 33 per cent or more, state Revenue and Disaster Management minister Bijayshree Routray today said.

“Eye estimation reports so far received by the agriculture department show crop loss to the extent of 33 per cent and more in 2,57,930 hectare of crop land in 12 districts,” Routray told reporters here.

The districts which have been affected due to scanty rainfall and resulting drought-like situation are Balasore, Boudh, Jajpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Khurda, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nayagarh, Puri and Subarnapur.

Extensive crop loss has been seen in Khurda district where damage has been reported from about 66,540 hectares, he said.

Asked about the scenario in the rest of the state, the minister said, “As per reports received from district collectors and agriculture department, transplanting of paddy was delayed in many places due to shortage of rainfall.”

“Seedlings in nursery beds in some areas became older and suffered stunted growth. Moisture stress condition was observed especially in upland and medium land paddy fields in some non-irrigated pockets,” Routray said.

A joint survey on the crop loss due to drought-like situation was being carried out by agriculture and revenue departments, he said.

Referring to the erratic rainfall this monsoon, the minister said the average rainfall in the state during June was 8.4 per cent, more than the long term average. The rainfall in the months of July and August, however, recorded a shortfall of 9.3 per cent and 25.2 per cent respectively.

In September though the rainfall was inadequate during the first week, there had been good downpour in the third week in south and coastal districts. However, the average rainfall in the month was less by 4.3 per cent of the long term average.

The cumulative rainfall in the state from June one to September 30 counted for a shortfall of 9.9 per cent, he added.