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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Govt seeks Rs. 4,800-cr assistance from Centre to tackle drought-like situation

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, August 30, 2014
First Published: 22:39 IST(30/8/2014) | Last Updated: 22:42 IST(30/8/2014)

Haryana has submitted a memorandum to the Union ministry of agriculture seeking a special package to tackle the drought-like conditions prevailing in the state.

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According to the data collected from the meteorological department for the period June 1, 2014 to August 26, 2014, Haryana had received only 124.6 mm rain as compared to the normal 358.9 mm, which was 65 percent less than the normal rainfall. The departure was more than 50% in 18 out of the 21 districts of the state.

Stating that Haryana was among the most adversely affected states due to weak and erratic monsoon and it was  experiencing drought-like conditions during the current Kharif season, an official release said that the state government had requested for a special package of Rs. 4,829 crore, of which an amount of Rs. 1,191crore had been demanded to compensate the state power utilities alone which had been consistently maintaining an 8-hour supply for the agricultural tubewells for meeting the irrigation needs of farmers and save the crops, notwithstanding that power is being sourced at very high rates.

The memorandum sought an assistance of Rs. 1,703 crore to compensate for damage to the standing drops, relief for the unsown area, seeds for alternate crops, distribution of gypsum and deepening of tubewells, besides other works. Further, assistance of Rs. 66.81 crore had been sought for taking relief measures qua the damages to the horticulture sector. It said that not only the survival of standing Kharif crops was a challenge, but it might have its fallout on account of low moisture levels for the Rabi crops if the present rainfall trends continue.

The state government has also pitched a case for an amount of Rs. 1,047 crore to offset the interest burden on the farmers on account of deferment and conversion of short term crop loans, advanced by the cooperative sector banks, to medium term loans in these difficult times. Similarly, enhanced provision of an amount of Rs. 293 crore had been sought under MGNREGS and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) to provide for additional wage employment and creation of water harvesting structures in the rural areas of the state. Other areas of assistance include the irrigation sector, drinking water supply in rural and urban areas, animal husbandry and fisheries.

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