03 December, Bhubaneswar
The inter-ministerial team set up by Union Agriculture Ministry today visited drought hit Bargarh and Nuapada districts to assess the drought situation in the state.
The 10 member team led by Union Joint Secretary of Agriculture K S Srinivas arrived in the state capital yesterday.The team met Special Relief Commissioner Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra today before divided in two groups t o visit the drought affected areas of Western Odisha.
While one team went to Padampur town of Bargarh district to assess the drought condition there the other team visited the drought hit areas of Nuapada district.
On return from their drought affected areas, the team will attend a meeting of senior officials of the state government to be chaired by Chief Secretary Aditya Kumar Padhi on December five.
The team, will submit its report to the Union Agriculture Ministry.The Centre deputed the central team after the state government submitted a memorandum seeking interim assistance of Rs1687 crore to tackle the drought situation.
This will be the second visit of the central team to the state to assess the drought situation. Earlier, a five-member team, led by Union Additional Commissioner of Agriculture R P Mallick visited the state in October last on the request of Union Minister of state for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
The Odisha government has already initiated several measures and announced a special drought package of Rs 1000 crore to mitigate the sufferings of farmers hit by the drought .
As per a preliminary estimate, 173 blocks spread over 25 districts have been affected by the drought due to scanty rainfall. A total 8.82 lakh hectares of agricultural land had been hit by the current drought out of which 33 per cent crop loss has been reported over 6.31 lakh hectares of land.
The government claimed that a detail assessment of crop loss will be known only after the crop cutting was over by the end of this month.