Help Orissa’s drought hit, urges Congress

August 29th, 2011 - 11:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Aug 29 (IANS) Describing the prevailing drought situation in Orissa as serious, the Congress Monday asked the Naveen Patnaik government to take urgent measures to help those hit by crop loss.

“If urgent measures are not taken, a famine-like situation would prevail in some areas,” Congress leader Narasingha Mishra told reporters here after visiting six worst affected districts, including the impoverished districts of Bolangir and Kalahandi.

Mishra said the districts, which the seven-member team of the party led by him visited, have witnessed 80 to 95 percent crop loss. He asked the state government to waive off the kharif crop loans as well as electricity dues of lift irrigation points (LIPs) of the farmers.

He also said the government should provide the drought-hit farmers with fresh loans, free seeds and fertilizers for rabi crop.

The state government recently said at least 34 blocks in 16 of state’s 30 districts have received less than 50 percent rainfall this monsoon, triggering a fear of drought in the regions.

State Revenue and Disaster Management Department Minister Surya Narayan Patro said the government is keeping a close watch on the situation and is taking necessary measures.

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