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WB Govt reviews drought situation, CM to visit districts

india Updated: Aug 21, 2010 02:26 IST
Chief Minister

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will visit West Bengal's drought-hit districts from Saturday even as the affected districts have been receiving less than 30 per cent rainfall for last two days.

Reviewing the situation in a meeting with Agriculture Minister Naren De and Disaster Management Minister Mortaza Hossain, Finance Minister, Asim Dasgupta told reporters on Friday that the state government had released Rs 19 crore for repair of deep tubewells and Rs 15 crore for alternative kharif crops.

The state government was still spending from its Calamity Relief Fund and was yet to demand money from National Calamity Relief Fund, Dasgupta said.

Meanwhile, the state government cancelled holidays for the officials of the concerned departments in the affected districts, he said.

Dasgupta also said he had requested banks to come forward in helping the farmers in paying their loans by making it long-term.

Quoting MET office, Dasgupta said there could be increase in rainfall from August 22.

Meanwhile, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister, Anisur Rahaman said the state had dues of Rs 1400 crore from the Centre under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), of which Rs 170 crore it received yesterday and another Rs 200 crore would be available soon.