A top official of the Punjab government went a step ahead on Friday and described the rain deficit in the state as a "natural calamity".
The statement from chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) (irrigation) Sohan Singh Thandal came in a press release in which he said farmers in the state had suffered an estimated loss of Rs 5,200 crore due to weather conditions this year.
The Centre should have discharged its constitutional duty by announcing special economic package for the state but the proposal put forward by Punjab has not been considered as yet, Sohan Singh Thandal, the chief parliamentary secretary of Irrigation, said here.
He said irrigation had been adversely affected because of the rain deficit of upto 70%, which caused the Rs 5,200-crore loss to farmers in the state. Although some regions of the state had witnessed rain in the past few days, water level in most dams is still low.
The water flow in the rivers is 10% below normal and power generation through hydro projects has plunged sharply, he added. Thandal said that due to this "natural calamity", the peasantry of the state had been forced to spend more money on diesel to irrigate fields. The state incurred a loss of Rs 7,000 crore in June and July to purchase power by spending Rs 1,656 crore more than the normal rates, he said.