Eight Bengal districts may be declared drought-affected

August 6th, 2010 - 12:16 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 5 (IANS) The West Bengal government is planning to declare eight districts as drought-affected or on the verge of facing a drought after reviewing the situation till the second week of this month, a senior minister said Thursday.
Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said: “We will closely monitor the situation till the middle of this month. And then, depending on the ground situation, we will announce drought or drought-like situation in eight districts.”

Dasgupta expressed apprehension that the situation could turn for the worse if the eight districts - Bankura, Howrah, Hooghly, Burdwan, Purulia, West Midnapore, North 24- Parganas and South 24-Parganas - did not receive sufficient rains in the next nine-ten days.

Dasgupta, who met a farmers’ body at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings, appealed to the centre to bring up the issue of changing weather patterns at the appropriate international fora.

After meeting a farmers’ organisation here, Dasgupta said the government would watch the situation till mid-August and then, announce drought or a drought-like situation in the eight districts. The situation could aggravate further if rainfall was not sufficient within the second week of August, he added.

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