Jharkhand to declare Palamau region drought-hit

October 1st, 2008 - 1:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Oct 1 (IANS) The Jharkhand government will declare the Palamau region in the state drought-hit, and will seek a Rs.5 billion package from the central government, officials said here Wednesday. “Palamau is reeling under drought. Crops have been destroyed and the region is facing a famine-like situation,” Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Nalin Soren told reporters Wednesday.

“We will seek a Rs.500 crore (Rs.5 billion) package from the central government to help the people of the region,” he added.

Officials said the state government will soon declare the Palamau region drought-hit.

The state government has set up a sub-committee comprising three ministers - Soren, Water Resources Minister Kamlesh Singh and Health Minister Bhanu Pratap Sahi - which met Tuesday to take stock of the situation.

The meeting decided to distribute 50,000 tonnes of food grains to people living in the affected region.

According to the government, 75 percent of the state’s paddy crops and 100 percent of all other crops have been destroyed as the region has not witnessed any rain.

If there are no rains in the next 10 days, the situation is expected to worsen in Palamau, which falls in a rain shadow area and witnesses droughts almost every year.

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