In view of the deficient rainfall in the state this year, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das Wednesday directed the deputy commissioners to identify areas affected by the drought-like condition in their respective districts and submit their reports by November 10. Das who held a meeting here to review the situation, asked all government departments to submit work plans and demands for funds in the next five days so that a comprehensive report on the situation could be sent to the Centre before November 21, according to an official release.
The chief minister also directed advance planning in the affected areas and ensure early benefits of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to farmers, it said. In case of deficient rainfall, the concerned state government sends a report to the Centre, which in turn allocates funds to tide over the situation. Jharkhand received only 72 per cent of the normal 1200 mm rainfall this monsoon between June and September, according to Abdul Wadood, the chairman of Birsa Agriculture University's agro-meteorology and environmental science department who participated in the meeting. He said 129 blocks of the total 261 blocks in the state have been found to be drought-affected. Out of the 129 affected blocks, the situation in 10 was severe and moderate in the rest 119. Das said that the work to be taken up in the affected areas should be widely publicised so that farmers do not face any problem. He instructed that as immediate relief Rs 100 crore be made available from the disaster management fund to take up various works and subsidy on seeds for Rabi crops be increased from 50 per cent to 90 per cent in the affected areas as a relief to the farmers.
The chief minister said Rs 10,000 has been deposited in the accounts of all panchayat mukhiyas (heads) so that no person is deprived of food grains. Besides, provision has been made for providing 10 kg food grains to an elderly person who does not have a ration card. He instructed that mployment for 150 days be given under MGNREGA instead of the prevalent 100 days' employment. Das directed setting up of drought control cell at the district level to ensure solving farmers' problems. If any farmer did not get benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana last year he would be provided with money under the scheme this year. The chief minister also directed that after the declaration of drought in the state, loans, cooperative loans, revenue cess and electricity bills of farmers of the affected areas will not to be taken till March, 2019.
He asked the officials to convene bankers' meeting and issuing of directions in this regard. He also ordered drinking water arrangements in the affected areas and ponds dug on a priority basis. Animal fodder should also be made available in such areas and camps set up at panchayat level for animal health care and treatment, he said. The chief minister asked to send Rs five lakh to gram Vikas samitis and adivasi Vikas samitis of the government in the affected districts, the release added.
(With inputs from agencies.)