West Bengal hastens to save paddy in drought-hit areasAugust 21st, 2010 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS
Burdwan (West Bengal), Aug 21 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Saturday said every measure will be taken soon to save paddy in five drought-hit districts in south Bengal.
“Because of drought, plantation of paddy could not be carried out in more than 11 lakh hectares of land in these five districts. But we have decided to take every measure to save the paddy plants that have been cultivated in these five districts,” he said.
Bhattacharjee held a meeting and discussed the drought situation with the district magistrates and zila parishad sabhadhipatis (district council chiefs) of Purulia, Birbhum, Bankura, Hooghly and Burdwan at Burdwan town, around 120 km from Kolkata.
Speaking after the meeting, Bhattacharjee said: “Purulia is the worst hit district as paddy has been cultivated in only 6.5 percent of agricultural land, whereas the farmers have been able to cultivate 30 and 33 percent of land in Birbhum and Bankura districts respectively.”
“In Burdwan and Hooghly, paddy has been cultivated in 77 and 74 percent of agricultural land respectively.”
“We have discussed the situation with the district officials and the state agricultural secretary and decided that the irrigation department would be requested to supply water to save the paddy plants that have been cultivated in these five districts,” he added.
The chief minister said that the electricity department will be asked to supply uninterrupted power to run the water pumps and irrigate the fields.
“Besides, we will encourage the farmers to cultivate early rabi (winter) crops and oilseeds in their fields where paddy could not be cultivated due to scarcity of water. The farmers will be provided seeds and other necessary assistance,” said Bhattacharjee.
“The state agricultural secretary has been asked to estimate the cultivation cost for early variety rabi crops and oilseeds in the five districts, which can be grown in less water.”
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Tags: agricultural land, bhattacharjee, birbhum, chief minister, council chiefs, district magistrates, district officials, drought situation, electricity department, hooghly, irrigation department, necessary assistance, oilseeds, scarcity of water, south bengal, uninterrupted power, water pumps, west bengal, winter crops, zila