Odisha seeks Rs 2,344.99 cr in final drought report sent to Centre

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Friday sent its final memorandum on drought in the State after crop cutting assessment to the Centre seeking a grant of Rs 2,344.99 crore, Special relief Commissioner Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra said here on Friday.

Speaking to media persons, Mohapatra said, “Today, the State government approved the final memorandum on drought to the Centre. As per the final crop cutting report, 28 out of the total 30 districts have been affected by drought. A total of 235 blocks, 3,832 gram panchayats, 29,176 villages and 55 urban local bodies in these 28 districts have been hit by the natural calamity. Malkangiri and Jagatsinghpur districts are not in the list of the drought report.”

Earlier, the State government had submitted two memorandums to the Centre seeking a Rs 2,199 crore grant to face the situation due to drought.

“In the interim reports, 26 districts and 215 blocks of the State were mentioned as drought affected areas,” the Special Relief Commissioner said.

The earlier report put the crop loss in 13.41 lakh hectares at 33% whereas the final report revised the crop loss to 15.36 lakh hectare, an increase of 1.95 lakh ha.

Mohaptra said the grant is being sought by the State government under the six heads.

In the final report, the State government has sought agriculture input subsidy of Rs 1,062 crore, an increase of Rs 134.69 cr from the Rs 927.77 crore asked for in the interim memorandum. Similarly, Rs 4.92 crores was sought in the final report for strengthening of fodder resources and Rs 206.067 crores by way of gratuitous relief or food assistance, an increase of Rs 6.31 crore compared to the Rs 200.03 crore sought in the report, Mohapatra added.

Notably, the High Level Committee of the Central government has already announced a Rs 815 crore assistance towards drought relief.

Two villages in Bhadrak district with 133 ha and 13 villages in Kendrapara district with 4242 ha were affected due to drought.

In the final drought estimation report, there has been an increase in drought-affected areas in 16 districts over the interim report whereas there has been a decrease in affected areas in 8 districts. In two other districts, there has been nochange in the area affected.

In Bargarh, Nayagarh, Balasore, Dhenkanal, Puri, Bolangir, Kalahandi and Koraput districts, there has been a decrease in the drought affected areas, he said.

The memorandum sent to the Centre is available on the SRC website, Mohapatra added.