Ground reality: A file picture of crops damaged due to water scarcity at Vavi Shivar village in Nasik district.
| Photo Credit:
State govts. have sought ₹17,000 cr. as assistance for 2 crore hectares of affected land
Inter-ministerial teams are visiting six States to assess the impact of drought in the summer monsoon season. State governments have requested drought relief assistance from the Centre to the tune of almost ₹17,000 crore for two crore hectares of affected land, according to Agriculture Ministry data.
Rainfall shortages have hit hard in three States of the Deccan plateau — Maharshtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh — as well as the western States of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Jharkhand and Odisha have also been affected. However, the Odisha government, which has already declared drought for kharif 2018, has not yet submitted a memorandum for assistance from the Centre.
The inter-ministerial teams will assess the damage and submit their reports to a sub-committee headed by the Agriculture Secretary.
The sub-committee will send final recommendations for financial assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund to a high-level committee, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Maharashtra is the worst affected in terms of land area, with more than 85 lakh hectares hit by drought conditions, according to data provided to Parliament by Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh this week. Out of its 36 districts, 26 districts have been affected, and the State government has requested ₹7,522 crore in central assistance.
In Karnataka, 24 out of 30 districts have been declared drought-hit, with 37 lakh hectares affected. The State has requested assistance of ₹2,434 crore. In Rajasthan, almost 35 lakh hectares have been affected, and the State has requested nearly ₹2,820 crore of central assistance.