22 September, Bhubaneswar
With nearly 100 blocks in the state recording deficit rainfall this year, the Odisha government has decided to declare as drought affected the areas getting below 50 per cent of the normal rain for three consecutive weeks, a Minister said on Friday.
This was decided at a high-level meeting presided over by Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty here.
The Minister said the decision was taken for the first time as it would be too late if the government waited for the crop cutting report.
“For the first time, we have taken steps to declare ‘dry spell areas’ without waiting for the crop-cutting report as had been the practice earlier. It is in accordance with drought management norms,” said Mohanty.
The Minister said that his department was yet to receive the complete report on the drought situation in the state from the district collectors.
The drought situation will be discussed at the review meeting scheduled on October 10 after reports are available from the district collectors, he added.
However, Mohanty said there has been a slight improvement in the drought-like situation in the state following rains recently.
“While 103 blocks had deficit rainfall earlier, the number has now fallen to 96,” he said.
The Minister said the Meteorology department has predicted more rainfall by September 30.