CM reviews drought-like situation, seeks report in 7 days from Agri deptt

Bhubaneswar: With agricultural activities hitting 103 blocks in over 23 districts of Odisha due to scanty rainfall, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked the agriculture department to submit a report within seven days on the possible impact.

“The chief minister has directed the agriculture department to submit report on the prevailing dry spell situation within seven days,” state Agriculture Minister Pradeep Kumar Maharathy told reporters after Patnaik reviewed the drought-like situation.

The worst hit districts were identified as Bargarh, Balangir, Boudh, Dhenkanal, Kandhamal, Khurda, Keonjhar and Subarnapur.

Patnaik reviewed the situation in a meeting in which chief secretary, development commissioner, agriculture secretary, special relief commissioner and Met department director were present.

Maharathy said farmers in the 103 blocks have been facing difficult situation due to scanty rainfall and he would personally tour those places from September 25.

The government, he said, may announce a package for the farmers only after getting report from the ground level.

However, all required steps are being taken to save the crops.

The chief minister has directed activating all the lift irrigation points and expediting deep bore well works, he said adding 40,000 pumps sets were being provided to the farmers in the affected areas at subsidised price.

In a bid to prevent migration of people from the affected areas, the state government has prepared a Rs 500 crore master plan to create 1.62 crore man days.

Patnaik has also asked the officials to ensure that 80 per cent of the lift irrigation points become functional by end of October and create check dams to facilitate irrigation.

Earlier today, a delegation of BJP led by the party’s State president KV Singhdeo met Governor SC Jamir and presented a six-point charter of demands on drought situation in the State at Raj Bhavan here.

The demands mentioned in the memorandum included compensation to drought-affected farmers, assessment of losses, repair of lift irrigation points on war footing and postponement of repayment of loans of farmers until the situation improves.