The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday declared 27 more districts as drought-hit taking the total to 47 even as Chief Minister Mayawati demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announce special packages for the backward Bundelkhand region and eastern UP.
"In the interest of farmers, we have relaxed measures for declaring districts as drought-hit due to which 27 more districts are found to be affected by drought. With this the total number of drought-hit districts has gone up to 47," Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta told reporters.
Thirteen districts - Agra, Shahjahanpur, Saharanpur, Faizabad, Meerut, Mahoba, Aligarh, Jyotibaphule Nagar, Balrampur, Etah, Rampur, Ghaziabad and Gautambuddha Nagar - which received less than 40 per cent rainfall have been declared drought-hit, he said.
Similarly, 14 districts - Banda, Mathura, Allahabad, Auraiya, Jalaun, Kanpur, Varanasi, Chandauli, Moradabad, Azamgarh, Siddharthnagar, Badaun, Sitapur and Firozabad - received rainfall between 40-60 per cent have also been declared drought-hit, he added.
Gupta also said the chief minister sent two letters to the prime minister on Sunday requesting him to release special packages for backward regions of the state - Bundelkhand and districts in eastern UP.
Mayawati has alleged that economic growth of the state was hampered due to non-cooperation of Central agencies. Demanding that Centre cooperate in accelerated development of the state, she said proposals made in Rs 80,000 crore package submitted by the state should be sanctioned.
Mayawati alleged that as the Centre was not investing in energy sector and adequate power was not allocated to the state, it was lagging behind in industrialisation.