Patna: The opposition BJP on Wednesday urged the Governor DY Patil to direct the Nitish Kumar government to declare Bihar as "drought-hit" state due to rainfall deficit.
A delegation, led by the state unit chief of BJP, Mangal Pandey and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav, called on Patil and submitted a memorandum apprising him about prevalence of acute drought situation in 33 districts of Bihar.
The BJP leaders urged the Governor to direct the state government to declare the state as "drought-hit" due to rainfall deficit and launch relief measures among the farmers without any delay.
They said that paddy plantation has taken place in only 65 percent of coverage area due to inadequate and erratic rainfall till first two weeks of this month even as the farmers will be hard-pressed to save standing crops with irrigation facilities at their disposal.
Recalling all 38 districts were declared drought-hit in 2010 due to rainfall deficit at 27 percent, the BJP leaders urged the state government to adopt the same criteria this time too and declare the state as drought-affected.
Among various reliefs for the farmers, the BJP sought ban on recovering of farm loan and electricity bills from the farmers, in addition to eight-hour electricity supply and diesel subsidy for the farmers.
The farm labourers should be given works under the MNREGA and financial assistance and seeds should be provided to the farmers for sowing alternative crops, they said, adding that commercial banks should provide loans to the community for sustenance.