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Central team visits drought-affected areas in Odisha

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sonepur/Bargarh/Bolangir/Bhubaneswar Oct 8:

A five-member Central team from the Union Agriculture Ministry led by additional Agriculture commissioner R P Malik yesterday toured the districts of Subarnapur, Bargarh and Bolangir in Odisha to assess the drought situation in these districts arising out deficient rainfall this year.

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The Central team split into two teams– a three-member team and a two member team.

While the three-member earlier yesterday visited different affected areas of Sonepur and Tarbha blocks in Subarnapur district, it visited Kurlo and Kankaria villages in Bolangir district later in the day and assessed the situation arising out of insufficient rainfall by speaking to farmers in these places.

Similarly, another team comprising of two members visited affected areas in Bijepur and Padmapur blocks of Bargarh district. The team while assessing the damaged crops due to insufficient rainfall spoke to farmers and heard their plight.

“We visited the fields and discussed with the farmers. We assessed the situation caused due to deficit rainfall on paddy crop. That is our motive to come here. We just visited two, three places; there is some drought effect particularly in upland rice. Most of the crop has failed,” said R P Malik additional commissioner of Agriculture Ministry.

“We have told the team about our plight, how our crops are damaged. We told them that seeds, fertilizers and pesticides used by us have gone waste. They have taken note of what we told them.

Apart from these three districts the Central team has plans to visit affected areas in Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Khurda, Kandhamal and Boudh districts.

On the other hand, politics has taken centre stage with the Central team’s visit. While state Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy has claimed that the Central team’s visit would yield no results and it is only the state government which will do whatever is required in the situation, the BJP has criticized the state government for its failure to manage the drought situation.

“Let Central team or international team come, the state’s Chief Minister and my department-Agriculture is fully geared to tackle the drought situation. Whatever will be done will be done by us. Dusshera festival will start fromOctober 20, we have asked officials to submit reports before that. It’s not that the Agriculture department that prepares the report it’s done jointly with other departments,” said Maharathy.

“There are some officers led by Malik in Sonepur and some officers are in Bargarh led by Patnaik. They are leading the Central team which is touring the drought affected areas. One can understand from this how concerned is the Centre about the state while the government here has been blaming the Centre of neglecting the state always,” said Samir Mohanty talking to reporters in the state capital.

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