Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday told the collectors of 15 coastal districts to keep a watch on the unseasonal rains and its impact on the Kharif crop even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours.
Patnaik, through a video conferencing, asked the district collectors to engage the field officials of agriculture and revenue and disaster management and guide the farmers facing crop loss due to the unseasonal rains during the harvesting period.
The chief minister also cancelled the weekly holiday of field staff of the two departments as the farmers were struggling to save their crop affected due to the unseasonal rains.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P sethi, who attended the video conferencing, said that the assessment of the crop damage due to the unseasonal rains would be done as soon as the rainfall stops.
The district collectors are asked to report on the crop loss as soon as the rain stops, Sethi said.
Patnaik also directed the district collectors to ensure that the drought and pest attack affected farmers get their assistance in time.
The collectors were also told to report the SRC on the agricultural input subsidy being distributed among the farmers hit by drought and pest attack.
Meanwhile, the IMD sources said that the depression over West Central Bay of Bengal and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal off north Andhra Pradesh ? south Odisha coasts moved slightly northeast wards and lay centred at about 185 km of south?southwest of Gopalpur.
The system is very likely to move northeastwards off north Andhra Pradesh ? Odisha coasts during the next 12 hours maintaining its intensity, it said, adding that the system is very likely to continue to move northeastwards and weaken gradually.
The average rainfall of today across the state was 16.8 mm, they said, adding that the highest rainfall of 56.0 mm. was recorded in Puri followed by 52.3 mm. In Jagatsinghpur, 44.3 mm. In Gajapati, 44.0 mm. In Kendrapara and 39.3 mm. In Ganjam district.
The unseasonal rains have been reported from 25 of the 30 districts of the state, they said.
Meanwhile, the state government has started process for disbursal of agriculture input subsidy among farmers who have sustained crop loss of 33 per cent and above in the drought.
The district collectors were asked to complete the process within seven days, Sethi said.