Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 15:
Odisha government today added 16 more blocks in four more districts to the list of blocks and districts facing drought-like situation in the state taking the total number of affected blocks to 123 and affected districts to 16.
Revenue & Disaster Management Minister Bijoyshree Routray today announced inclusion of Bolangir, Jharsuguda, Nuapada and Bargarh districts in the list of drought-affected districts.
“Sixteen blocks in four more districts in the state have been included in the list of drought-affected areas. The package announced by the Chief Minister for the drought affected districts will be implemented soon,” the Minister said.
Agriculture and Revenue departments are carrying out a joint survey on the crop loss arising out of the drought-like situation, Routray had said.
Routray had yesterday announced that 107 blocks were facing drought like situation and the blocks were spread across 12 districts such as Baleswar, Boudh, Jajpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Khurda, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nayagarh, Puri and Subarnapur.
The Minister had said the assessment was based on eye estimation and crop cutting estimates were yet to come adding that reports received by the agriculture department so far indicated crop loss to the extent of 33 per cent in 2,57,930 hectare of land in 12 districts.
Soon after the state government announced relief package for the affected farmers, the Opposition leader in the state Assembly and senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra lashed out at the government terming the package as “dhuan bana” (empty talks).
“The farmers haven’t received relief amount that was announced in 2011. Let’s see whether the government fulfils its promise this time,” Mishra had said yesterday.
Notably, there have been reports of farmer suicides in the state owing to bad or crop loss arising out of scanty or deficient rainfall this monsoon. The farmers suffered extensive crop damage this kharif season.