As many as 12 of the 24 districts in Jharkhand were declared drought-hit for the fifth successive year as they received less than 50 per cent of the normal rainfall, a senior official has said.
The decision was taken in a Jharkhand Governor Advisory Council meeting late on Tuesday.
"The advisory council meeting declared 12 districts as drought-affected," Cabinet Secretary Aditya Swaroop told reporters after the meeting.
"The district administration of drought-affected districts will be asked to start relief work at the earliest," he said.
The 12 districts which have been declared drought-affected are Ranchi, Bokaro, Giridih, Latehar, Ramgarh, Chatra, Seraikela-Kharsawa, Khuti, East Singhbhum, Jamtara, Dhanbad and Palamau.
All these districts received less than 50 per cent of the normal rainfall. Latehar, Chatra, Ramgarh, Jamtara, Khuti received 28, 28, 37, 38 and 39 per cent rainfall respectively.
Less than 25 per cent paddy transplantation has been done in the drought-hit districts.
The problem of farmers can be gauged from the fact that the state irrigates only 12 per cent land through canal and other irrigation methods against the national average of 40 per cent.