Odisha govt asks District Collectors to chalk out strategy to deal with possible drought situation

Bhubaneswar : Odisha government has directed the District Collectors to chalk out a strategy to deal with the possible drought situation in the state.

Official sources said 30 blocks in 15 districts have reported moisture distress conditions due to scanty rainfall.

As per the official record, Odisha has received 50 per cent rainfall this year in comparison to last year. During the rainy season, the state has received 28.8 per cent less rainfall than the normal rainfall this year.

State Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra who reviewed the situation arising out of scanty rainfall in the state-directed the District Collectors to organise coordination meetings between Pani panchayats and discoms and initiate steps to revive and rejuvenate all defunct Lift irrigation points and bore wells.

Instructions were also given to expedite the repairing of all canals to ensure that the water reaches the tail end of the canal.

Mr Mohapatra was also directed to provide water for irrigation in all canals on rotation as per requirement, prepare a contingency plan in block and panchayat wise for the alternative crop in areas where there is less rainfall.

Importance was given for the cultivation of non-paddy crops and the Seed Corporation was asked to provide seeds to the farmers.

Sources said 20 lakh more man-days would be created and more projects would be taken under the MGNREGS to provide jobs to agriculture labourers.

The agriculture department is also preparing a block and district wise contingency plan for undertaking non-paddy crop cultivation where paddy could not be cultivated.

Meanwhile, Odisha BJP state Unit President Sameer Mohanty at a press conference here today demanded the government to set up a task force comprising experts to deal with any possible drought situation on a priority basis.

The Party also demanded the government to provide water to the farmers from the nearest water sources in drought-prone districts on a war footing.

The BJP also constituted four teams to review the situation at the ground level. The team will visit the drought-prone areas and submit reports to help the party to chalk out its strategy to deal with the situation.