While 24 dists face drought, six others remain submerged
NATURE HAS served a double blow to Uttar Pradesh — flood here and drought there.
Due to scanty rainfall in August the spectre of drought looms large over two-dozen districts, while half a dozen districts are already reeling under flood.
The sudden spate in the Sharda, the Ghaghra and the Rapti breached embankments and flooded around 300 villages in six districts including Lakhimpur Kheri, Barabanki, Balrampur, Gonda, Shravasti and Bahraich.
“We were planning to launch relief measures in the districts that have recorded scanty rainfall. But heavy rainfall in the foothills of the Himalayas in the last week of August suddenly led to increase in the water level in the rivers flowing from Nepal across Uttar Pradesh,” a revenue Department officer said.
The rivers crossed the danger mark and breached the embankments even before the Irrigation Department engineers could repair it.
According to Revenue Department record, flood has affected 11,018 people in Lakhimpur Kheri district, 22,000 people in Barabanki district, 1,162,24 people in Balrampur district, 76,250 people in Gonda district, 95,491 people in Shravasti district and 11,857 people in Bahraich district.
State Relief Commissioner Renuka Kumar told Hindustan Times that along with distributing edible items in the flood hit villages the Army and PAC jawans had been deputed in Barabanki district to shift people from submerged villages to relief camps.
Health and Animal Husbandry Department had been directed to launch immunization programme in the flood-hit villages, Kumar said and added that chlorine tablets were being distributed in the villages to protect the people from water-borne disease.
Meanwhile, around 20 per cent kharif crops have been destroyed due to scanty rainfall in districts located in Bundelkhand region and West Uttar Pradesh. The worst-affected districts are Lalitpur, Bareilly, Jhansi, Firozabad, Moradabad,Hameerpu, Fatehpur Meeurt and Saharanpur.
The districts in which crops have been partially damaged include — Etawah, Ambedkarnagar,, Maharajganj, Aligarh, Baghpat, Bijnor, Jyotiba Phule Nagar, Azamgarh, Chandauli, Hathras, Sonebhadra, Hardoi, Deoria, Badaun, Meerut, Pratapgarh, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Mainpuri, Pilibhit, Mau and Kushinagar districts.
“Rainfall in last week of August have brought relief to the farmers and we hope to save the eighty per cent of the crop. The farmers have been directed to plant drought resistant crop in the districts that have recorded deficient rainfall”, Renuka Kumar said.
“Still a district is declared drought hit only after fifty percent of the crop is destroyed and none of the districts fits in this criterion as crop loss was mere twenty per cent, Kumar said.