Centre, Odisha in blame game over drought

Bhubaneswar: A political blame-game has ensued between the State and the Central government over the drought situation in Odisha. The face-off has been triggered by the drought assessment and recommendations report of the Central team as the ruling BJD is of the opinion that the said report contains nothing new and is a political gimmick.

The report by the central team has listed out 18 recommendations and remedial strategies and includes early assessment of the losses and compensation to farmers under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) guidelines.
Moreover, the report has suggested more emphasis should be given to creation of water harvesting structures like check dam, farm pond, water tank etc. and also on lift irrigation and deep bore well.

However, the BJD has said that there is nothing new in this report. “There are no new recommendations in the report and the suggestions are already present in the relief code. If the Central government wants to help Odisha, then as soon as possible it should announce an assistance package, which the State government has already done,” said BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb.

All of it seems to be a political ploy by the BJP which is misleading the people of Odisha in the name of help, he said adding that we are waiting for the centre to act on their promises, he added

Reply to BJD’s tirade Union Tribal Affairs minister Jual Oram said “Almost all the lift irrigation points are lying defunct, there is no desired water level at the dams, no efforts are being made to harvest rainwater, and there is no Rabi programme even after crop loss. These are not the duties of the Central government. The State government has failed to address these issues and unnecessarily putting the blame on the Centre.”

There was no political motive behind sending a Central team to Odisha as from our side it was a proactive measure to assess the drought situation, Oram added urging the State government to stop indulging in a blame-game and help farmers.