Orissa announces 200 days work, free rice in drought-hit areas
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Last Updated: Thursday, September 30, 2010, 21:13
  
Bhubaneswar: The Orissa government on Thursday announced 200 days labour intensive work in drought-hit areas besides financial assistance for farmers who sustained 50 per cent or more crop loss, official sources said.

The state government announced the package after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the drought situation.

Of the state's 314 blocks, 106 had reported drought of which 26 blocks were identified as severely hit.

The package included exemption of tuition and examination fees for high schools students and free rice for the old and poor in drought-hit areas.

"The district administrations were told to identify beneficiaries of the free rice under the food security programme for drought hit areas," said a senior official.

An adult would be provided one kg rice every day and a child 500 gram.

The amount of compensation per hectare of irrigated land was set at Rs 4,000 and Rs 2,000 for non-irrigated land.

Subsidised groundnut, mung, biri, mustard, sunflower and other seeds would be provided at a subsidised rate to farmers while the tenure of loan repayment incurred during the kharif season would be increased.

The farmers could avail loan for rabi crop at the rate of three per cent interest.

The state government also decided to exempt 50 per cent of water cess for farmers who sustained crop loss due to drought. "The remaining 50 per cent of water cess will be recovered from them next year," it said.

The farmers would get 50 per cent rebate on purchase of 7.5 horse power pumpsets for irrigation and 75 per cent rebate on procuring pedal irrigation machines.

Lift irrrigation points would be provided electricity by payment of 50 per cent of the arrear amount.

The government also announced rennovation of all medium irrigation projects besides construction of about 2000 check dams by June 2011.

The farmers who wanted to use plastic pipes to irrigate land could also get 50 per cent rebate over their purchase. "The ceiling of rebate is Rs 15,000 per farmer," it said.

As many as 50,000 private lift irrigation points would be installed under Jalnidhi scheme by June 2011, it said.

The chief minister also directed collectors to submit a list of places where crop loss was 50 per cent or more.

The state was planning to submit a report with the Centre on the drought situation by first week of October, Patnaik said.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010, 21:13


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