Central team inspects drought-hit districts of UP

Lucknow : A team of officials from the Centre has begun inspecting drought-hit districts of Uttar Pradesh following a request from the state government for Rs.6,138.42 crore financial aid.

Fortyfour of the 75 districts in the state have been declared drought-hit due to scanty monsoon rains. All revenue realization drives in these districts have been postponed beyond March 31, 2015.

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Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan said that under the working plan for drought-hit districts, Rs.685.41 crore were required as relief for the crop loss suffered by farmers, Rs.999.33 crore for agriculture department, Rs.20.57 crore for horticulture department, Rs.71.06 crore for fisheries department, and Rs.1,162 crore for power corporation.

Besides, Rs.91.39 crore were required for irrigation and water resources, Rs.639.76 crore for animal husbandry department, Rs.258.65 crore for minor irrigation, Rs.9.11 crore for ground water department, Rs.38.67 crore for health department, Rs.1,498.10 crore for irrigation department, Rs.555.03 crore for Jal Nigam and Rs.109.25 crore for the forest department.

Ranjan also said that senior departmental officers had been nominated as nodal officers for coordinating and assisting the central team’s tour and inspection of districts.

A meeting of state government officials with Utpal Kumar Singh, joint secretary in the agriculture ministry, was held Thursday to assess the drought situation in the state and the possible aid from the central government. Another meeting between the two sides will be held Saturday after district tours by the central government team, an official told IANs.

Led by Utpal Kumar Singh, the central government team is visiting various districts in the state. While he will lead the tour of districts of Kanpur city, Kanpur rural, and Jalaun (Orai), a central team headed by V.K. Bathla, deputy adviser, drinking water supply, will visit Mathura, Aligarh and Badaun districts. Senior research officer Ramanand will lead a team to Agra, Etah and Kannauj districts for inspection.