TODAY -

State officially declared drought-hit
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 31 2019: With the seasonal rainfall far short of the normal volume and vast tracts of agricultural lands rendered unfit for paddy cultivation, a Cabinet mee-ting held today officially declared the State as drought-hit.

Soon after the Cabinet meeting was over, Agriculture Commissioner M Joy officially declared that the State has been hit by drought.

The official declaration was made based on reports submitted by DC and Agriculture Officers.

Following the declaration, concerned DCs have been instructed to take up necessary relief measures.

Notably, a Cabinet meeting held on July 20 recommended the Central Government to declare that the State has been facing a drought like situation.



State officially declared drought-hit
State officially declared drought-hit


A Cabinet meeting was held today after the Central Government pointed out that the State Government should decide whe- ther the State has been hit by drought or not.

Before today's Cabinet meeting, another meeting was held this morning with Chief Minister N Biren in the chair and it was attended by Ministers, MLAs, Chief Secretary, DCs, officials of Agriculture, Revenue, Finance, Planning, Water Resources, Horticulture, Remote Sensing, Central Agricultural University and ICAR.

The meeting deliberated on the four parameters necessary for declaring a State or area as drought-hit.

The four parameters are crops sown, soil moisture, vegetable index and hydrology.

Although the current situation of the State fulfils the first three parameters, no concrete report could be tabled on the fourth parameter as Water Resources Department has no equipment to check hydrology, informed a source.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister asked DCs and SDOs to submit detail reports of paddy fields where no paddy cultivation can be done as well as areas where paddy cultivation has been affected by acute shortage of water.

After the meeting, a Cabinet meeting was held where the drought like situation prevailing in the State was deliberated at length.

Speaking to media persons after the Cabinet meeting, Education Minister and Government spokesman Th Radheshyam said that the State Cabinet has agreed to declare the State as drought hit and also to seek assistance from the Central Government to cope with the situation.

Radheshyam informed that the State Government would ask the Central Government to send a team to the State to assess the drought situation.

According to information received from Agriculture Department, out of the State's total 1.95 lakh hectares which are under paddy cultivation, paddy cultivation cannot be done or cultivated paddy plants have withered at around one lakh hectares.

Assessment done by Manipur Remote Sensing Application Centre using satellite images revealed that paddy cultivation cannot be done at over 60 per cent of the total paddy fields located within Sawombung sub-division of Imphal East district.

The situation of paddy fields in other districts could not be ascertained as they were found covered by thick layers of cloud, said the source.

Following the State Government's declaration of the State being drought hit, Agriculture Department would send a memorandum to the Central Government through the Relief and Disaster Management Department, informed the source.

According to Agriculture Department's assessment report, paddy cultivation in Moirang sub-division of Bishnupur district has been severely affected by the drought like situation.

Hiyangthang and Patsoi blocks are the worst affected areas in Imphal West district.

In Imphal East district, Andro, Keirao, Irilbung, Akampat and Sawombung are the worst affected areas.

The worst affected areas in Thoubal district are Lilong and Khongjom blocks.

Langmeidong, Kakching Khunou and Sugnu are the worst affected areas in Kakching district.

According to the same report, Ukhrul and Kamjong districts have been severely affected by the drought like situation.

The situation is equally bad at Saikot, Mualnuam, Singngat and Suangdoh areas of Churchandpur district.

Saikul, Lungtin and Island blocks have been severely affected in Kangpokpi district while both Tamenglong and Tamei blocks have been severely affected in Tamenglong district.

Khengjoy block of Chandel district too has been severely affected.

Notably, Agriculture Department has already placed a proposal of Rs 19 crore to the Planning Department to cultivate alternative crops at all these places where paddy cultivation cannot be done due to acute shortage of water.

Out of the State's total 2948 villages, 497 villages have been affected by 30 per cent to 50 per cent while 233 villages have been affected by over 50 per cent, said the source.


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