Odisha seeks Rs.1,687 crore interim drought assistance

Bhubaneswar, Nov 23 (IANS) The Odisha government on Monday submitted a memorandum to the central government seeking interim assistance of Rs.1,687 crore to meet the drought situation in the state.

As per the report sent to the union home and agriculture ministries, the state government has sought Rs.1,687 crore assistance for drought-hit 173 blocks in 25 districts.

A total of 8.82 lakh hactres of agricultural land of 20,484 villages have been affected due to the prevalent drought in the state, said Special Relief Commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra.

More than 33 percent crop has been damaged in the villages.

Mohapatra said the state government has sought assistance in six heads.

“While we have sought Rs.416 crore for agricultural input subsidy, Rs.912 crore has been sought for loan deferment and interest subvention to farmers. Besides, we have asked to give Rs.52 crore for minor lift irrigation project revival, Rs.81 crore for cattle resources and fodder, Rs.200 crore for food assistance and Rs.24.78 crore for emergency water supply,” Mohapatra told reporters here.

He said the state government has urged the Centre to send an expert team to assess the drought situation in the state.

“It depends upon the centre to send a team or call us for discussion. We want assistance to meet the situation,” said Mohapatra.

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