New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday called on Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to discuss about the drought situation in the state and sought a relief package of Rs 12,000 crore.
"We have updated Pawar about the drought situation prevailing in the state. We have shared that the state would require roughly about Rs 12,000 crore as relief package to mitigate the crisis," Kumar told reporters after the meeting.
A final memorandum would be submitted soon to the Centre. Pawar has said that a central team would be sent to the state to assess the drought situation, he said.
The state government has already declared 33 districts out of 38 as drought-hit, he added. Kumar said: "Rainfall in July-August period was deficient by 35 per cent. Monsoon rains were received for 15 days, as against 45 days received in a normal year during this period."
Inadequate rains has affected sowing of major kharif crop, especially paddy and maize. In some parts, there is drinking water crisis and fodder scarcity, he said.
Kumar, who met Finance Minister P Chidambaram earlier in the day, said that the state is keeping a close watch on five districts and they too will be declared as drought affected if situation goes bad in the coming days.
He said he will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow to discuss this issue.