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Jharkhand may soon declare 50% blocks drought-­hit

Delayed and deficient monsoon rains have caused major damage to the farmers this kharif season in Jharkhand. The state has faced 28% rainfall deficit. It has received 784.4mm rainfall against the normal of 1092 mm from June 1 to September 30.

ranchi Updated: Nov 01, 2018 15:58 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
jharkhand,drought,raghubar das
A farmer couple showing the damaged paddy crop due to insufficient rain in Ranchi, Jharkhand. (HT Photo )

Jharkhand government may declare 50% blocks of the state as drought hit after a field verification, which is likely to be completed in a week, officials said on Wednesday. Chief minister Raghubar Das during a review meeting with top officials took serious note of the prevailing drought situation in the state.

Das directed the deputy commissioners of respective districts to conduct a sample survey of the blocks and submit report by November 10.

The CM also directed all departments to prepare work plan and financial requisition for the probable drought affected areas within five days and ensure release of Rs 100 crore from state disaster response fund for various relief works to be carried out in the drought affected areas.

“A comprehensive report regarding drought hit areas will be submitted to the centre by November 21,” he said.

As per Centre’s manual for drought management, 129 blocks in 18 districts have been identified drought-hit in the ‘Trigger-2.’

Ten blocks were found to be severely drought affected while 119 blocks as moderate affected.

As per the manual, state could declare drought following three parameters-Trigger-1 (rainfall parameter), Trigger-2 (impact indicators such as crop, remote sensing, soil moisture and hydrology and Trigger-3 verification (ground truth).

Delayed and deficient monsoon rains have caused major damage to the farmers this kharif season in Jharkhand. The state has faced 28% rainfall deficit. It has received 784.4mm rainfall against the normal of 1092 mm from June 1 to September 30.

As per the meteorological centre, Ranchi, this was the third year since creation of Jharkhand in 2000 when the state received above 25% rainfall deficit in monsoon season. Jharkhand had recorded 28% rainfall deficit in 2005 and 47% deficit in 2010.

Out of the total 24 districts, 17 districts constituting 68% of the total area of the state were rain deficient by 20% to 59%. Over 50% rain deficit was recorded in three districts, over 40% in four districts and over 30% in 10 districts, as per the weather department figure.

The erratic monsoon affected the paddy sowing. Jharkhand has registered 84.84% paddy sowing coverage this kharif season, which was 97% in 2017.

However, four districts- Bokaro, Jamtara, Koderma, Hazaribag and Deoghar- have registered below 70% paddy sowing.

Bokaro recorded merely 61.35% sowing, while Jamtara 61.90%. Similarly, Koderma recorded 63.45%, Hazaribag 64.52% and Deoghar 66,82%.

CM directed the officials to deposit Rs 10,000 in accounts of panchayat Mukhiyas so that no villagers face food grain shortage and starvation.

Against the provision of 100 workdays under MGNREGA, the CM said 150 workdays would be paid to the people of drought affected areas.

“If any elderly person doesn’t have ration card, he/she should be given 10 kg foodgrain under Annapurna scheme,” Das said, adding, after declaration of drought, farmers of particular areas should be given relief from various taxes such as loan, cooperative loan, revenue tax, cess and others till March 2019.

He asked the officials to set up a drought control cell and activate the farmers’ helpline number. “If any farmer did not receive payment of crop insurance of last year, he should be paid immediately,” he said.

Besides the chief minister, agriculture minister Randhir Singh, chief secretary Sudhir Tripathy, development commissioner DK Tiwary, additional chief secretary Sukhdev Singh, Arun Kumar Singh, agriculture secretary Puja Singhal were present in the meeting.

First Published: Nov 01, 2018 15:57 IST