Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, May 21:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the severe water scarcity, drought situation prevailing in most parts of the state and sought the release of remaining drought assistance from the Center during a high-level meeting at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in South Block here.
During the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh among other top officials, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reiterated his earlier demand for expeditious repair of Jagamohana in Lord Jagannath temple in Puri on a war-footing.
The state was reeling under severe water scarcity and several districts faced drought-like situation due to scanty rainfall. The remaining drought assistance from the Centre should be released soon. As many as 29, 000 villages in 27 districts in Odisha are drought-affected, Patnaik said.
Notably, the state government has received about Rs 600 crore towards drought assistance in three phases from the Centre.
The state had constructed 25,000 farm ponds, 7, 000 check dams, 4, 000 diversion weirs, 4, 000 percolation tanks, 400 water harvesting structures and 350 community tanks as part of the water conservation efforts. The state had completed district irrigation plans for all 30 districts as required under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), Patnaik informed.
Besides, progress in other agriculture schemes, piped water supply, and banking extension facilities in rural areas also figured during the discussion, sources said.
“Extensive deliberations with CM @Naveen_Odisha on the drought situation in Odisha & ways to mitigate it. Progress in other agriculture schemes, piped water supply & banking extension facilities in rural areas of Odisha were also discussed. CM @Naveen_Odisha spoke on Odisha completing District Irrigation Plans for all districts, as required under PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted after the meeting.