Home India News Drought fear deepens in Bihar as rainfall 43 percent less

Drought fear deepens in Bihar as rainfall 43 percent less


Patna : The Bihar government is considering declaring at least 12 districts drought-hit as the state has recorded 43 percent deficit in rainfall this season.

According to officials, the lack of rainfall has badly affected sowing of paddy seeds and transplanting of paddy seedlings.

“The government will likely declare the affected districts drought-hit on August 9 or 10 after ministers submit their assessment reports,” an official in the chief minister’s office told IANS.

The ministers have been asked to assess the situation in their respective districts along with district officials and to submit their reports at the earliest, the official said.

After the government admitted that drought-like situation was prevailing in 32 of 38 districts in Bihar, it set up a crisis management group headed by Chief Secretary Anup Mukharjee to suggest measures to tackle it.

Officials at the state agriculture department said districts like Gaya, Bhojpur, Kaimur, Siwan, Saran, Rohtas, Nalanda and Bhagalpur were the worst hit and would likely be declared drought-hit.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar convened a high level meeting Wednesday to review the situation. During the meeting, he hinted that the government would declare several areas drought-hit after getting the ministers’ reports.

Officials of the state agriculture department, water resources department, disaster management department and other concerned departments would also study the situation and submit their reports to the government.

According to agriculture department officials, so far only 30 percent of paddy seedling transplantation has been done this season due to scanty rainfall.

The state government had set a target of cultivating paddy on 3.55 million hectares this year.

“But till date, transplantation has been reported on about 1.1 million hectares,” one official said.

Last month, the chief minister announced that farmers would be given diesel at subsidised rates under a contingency plan to cope with the drought-like situation.