An inadequate monsoon has pushed many districts of Uttar Pradesh to the brink of drought, with 53 of 75 districts bearing the brunt of the rain shortfall.
The weather department said there has been a 46% deficiency in the rainfall as all four parts of the state — eastern UP, western UP, central UP and Bundelkhand — continued to reel under dry and arid conditions. Chief secretary Alok Ranjan said 19 districts had received less than 40% rainfall, 34 districts less than 40%-60% and some districts had received no rainfall at all.
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, before leaving for a three-day tour of the Netherlands on Monday, directed district officers to prepare a special drought package to be presented to the Centre. He said an exercise had been launched to assess the damage to crops and that he would write to the Central government for financial aid.
The state government has stopped the recovery of revenue dues and cooperative bank loans from farmers in these areas. Chief secretary Alok Ranjan said government departments were trying to control the crisis and district magistrates had been asked to send status reports on their districts.
The Congress has demanded that the state be declared drought-hit.