Central team takes stock of drought situation in Bihar

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 13:34

Patna: A central team of experts from the
Agriculture Ministry, sent by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is
assessing the drought situation in 28 rain deficient districts
in Bihar.

The team made an on the spot study in Vaishali,
Begusarai, Sitamarhi and other districts and took the stock of
damages caused to farmers and discussed relief measures with
district officials, state Agriculture Minister Renu Kumari
said.

Magadh and Patna divisions were the worst affected by
drought as the water table had declined to precariously low
levels, she said, adding the water table in north Bihar was
slightly better.

State Agriculture Director B Rajendra and other
officials were accompanying the central team, which arrived
yesterday.

The visit follows submission of a memorandum by Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar to the prime minister on Sunday
demanding financial assistance of Rs 5,000 crore to tackle the
crisis.

The team has been informed of 50 per cent of Kharif
(paddy) loss due to scanty rainfall, official sources said.

The Chief Minister has already announced diesel
subsidy for paddy and maize irrigation.

A
ccording to Met officials, the overall rainfall
deficit has risen to 31 per cent from 23 per cent on July 31.

The most rain-deficient districts as per the IMD, were
Arwal (-65 pc), Sitamarhi (-64 pc), Khagaria (-58 pc),
Vaishali (-57 pc), Samastipur (-51 pc), Sheohar (-50 pc),
Rohtas (-39 pc), Gaya (-33 pc) and Jehanabad (-30 pc ).

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 13:34

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