Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Tuesday said the entire state has been declared as drought-affected for kharif-2014 season. Hooda said a special girdawari has been ordered to assess the loss caused due to the continued dry spell.
The chief minister, who was addressing a press conference, said in case of more than 50% damage to the crops of paddy and cotton, a compensation of Rs. 4,000 per acre would be given. In case of damage to other crops, it would be Rs. 3,500 per acre. In comparison, the central government norms for compensation were Rs. 1,800 and Rs. 3,600. The chief minister said the state government has already submitted a memorandum to the Centre seeking a special package of Rs. 4,829 crore.
"I hoped the Centre would respond positively and send its team at the earliest to assess the loss," he said, adding that out of the special package sought from the central government, Rs. 1,191.79 crore have been demanded to compensate the state power utilities alone who have been consistently maintaining an eight-hour supply for the agriculture tubewells for meeting the irrigation needs of farmers and save the crops, notwithstanding that power is being sourced at a very high rate.
He added that the state government has also pitched a case for 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 Rs. 293.30 crore has been sought under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme to provide additional wage employment and creation of water harvesting structures in the rural areas of the state.
State received scanty rain
As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) statistics, Haryana received 141.6 mm of rain from June 1 to September 2 as against the normal rainfall of 393.7 mm, thus getting categorised in the states having scanty rains. According to the data collected from the IMD from June 1 to August 31, 2014, the state continued to experience more than 65% rain deficit as compared to the normal average.
Eighteen out of 21 districts of Haryana have received less than 50% rain. Neighbouring Punjab which received 147.4 mm rain as against the normal rainfall of 408.7 mm between June and September has also been put by the IMD in scanty category.