Sans expected rainfall, Odisha staring at possible drought

Bhubaneswar: From western to coastal, several districts in Odisha are now staring at a drought-like situation due to lack of adequate rainfall. The farmers are a worried lot as agricultural fields have dried up and developed cracks owing to lack of rainfall so far.

The farmers of Nuapada district had begun the agricultural work after the region received some amount of rainfall in the month of June. But soon after the onset of monsoon, rain is now playing hide and seek. So far there has been 50 percent less rainfall than normal, which has left the farmers in lurch.

“We anticipate that there will be drought as there has been no adequate rainfall since June,” said a farmer from Nuapada.

The situation is likely to worsen if large tracts of non-irrigated lands in several parts of the State do not receive rainfall in coming days.

Water scarcity has also reared its ugly head in Sambalpur as paddy crops in hectares of non-irrigated land are starting to get affected. Deputy agriculture director of Sambalpur, Khagendra Jena has also admitted a drought-like situation in the region.

“So far the situation is bearable, but if the region doesn’t receive rainfall in the next one week, it will worsen,” said Jena.

Agricultural works in several coastal districts have also been adversely affected due to lack of rainfall. However, the latest forecast by the Regional Meteorological Centre has come as a ray of hope.

As per the forecast, the cyclonic circulation over northwest Bay of Bengal is likely to develop into a low pressure area in the next 48 hours. Under its impact, several parts of Odisha will experience heavy rainfall.

“The cyclonic circulation is likely to intensify into a low pressure system and it is likely to trigger rainfall,” said duty officer, Regional Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar, Charan Behera.