West Bengal declares drought in 11 districts | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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West Bengal declares drought in 11 districts

kolkata Updated: Aug 16, 2010 19:16 IST

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West Bengal, country's largest rice producer, has declared 11 districts of the state drought affected due to deficit rainfall, the state's Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said on Monday.

"The state government, in order to tackle the drought, has decided to infuse 500 million rupees as a relief package for the affected farmers," Dasgupta said.

"We found that Purulia, Nadia, Malda, North and South 24 Paragnas, West and East Midnapore, Bankura, Birbhum and Burdwan had received 30 percent less rainfall in the monsoon season."

The findings also revealed that the lack of rains has severely affected the sowing of summer sown rice in Kharif season.

"Due to rainfall shortage around 1.1 million hectares of paddy crops have been affected out of targeted 4.4 million hectares for the kharif season", Dasgupta said.

The government has also proposed to encourage the cultivation alternative crops like maize, wheat, sesame and oilseeds in kharif and rabi season in the state and the seeds would be distributed free of cost.