14 districts in Gujarat declared drought hit | india | Hindustan Times
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14 districts in Gujarat declared drought hit

With truant monsoon, Gujarat government declared 14 districts as drought hit so relief works will be initiated in the scarcity hit areas. Worst hit is Saurashtra and Kutch regions, which have received only 25% of seasonal rainfall.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2012 15:49 IST
Mahesh Langa

With truant monsoon, Gujarat government declared 14 districts as drought hit so relief works will be initiated in the scarcity hit areas. Worst hit is Saurashtra and Kutch regions, which have received only 25% of seasonal rainfall.

A high level committee headed by finance minister Vajubhai Vala after assessing the ground situation submitted a report to the government which held that 152 blocks in 14 districts had received less than 150 mm rainfall in the season leading to scarcity situation.

To help affected population tackle drought the state is witnessing almost after a decade, the government will provide fodder and agricultural subsidies while also arranging drinking water through tankers.

"If it does not rain in August and September, there will be more than 8000 villages wanting water thought tankers. There will be acute shortage of drinking water and fodder for animals," a senior official in the state agriculture department said.

Last week during the meeting of Empowered Group of Ministers (EGM) on drought headed by Sharad Pawar, the Modi government had demanded financial assistance of over Rs 14,000 crore to help the state tackle sought in the state.

Besides drinking water and fodder shortage, another major concern is kharif crop that has almost failed so farmers will have to be given some compensation. So far, sowing has taken place only in 65% of the arable area in the state and now rain has vanished, there is no way to save the crops in severely hit areas in Saurashtra and Kutch.

With the state assembly polls round the corner, the decade old Modi government will be put to test about how it tackles drought in the state.