Raj declares drought in 5 dists; Kar in 142 talukas: Pawar

Rajasthan has declared drought in 5 districts while Karnataka has done so in 142 talukas, Parliament was informed today.

"So far, Karnataka and Rajasthan have declared drought in 142 out of the 176 taluks and in 5 out of 33 districts in the states, respectively," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

According to the report of India Meteorological Department(IMD), as on August 12, overall rainfall deficit for the country as a whole was 16 per cent, Pawar said.

Excess rainfall has been reported from 1 sub-division, normal in 17, deficient in 13 and scanty rainfall has been reported in 3 sub-divisions out of the total 36 sub-divisions in the country, the minister said quoting IMD data.

He said sowing of crops have been hit by weak monsoon. "Against an average area of 105.70 million hectares under kharif cultivation in the entire country, 85.4 million hectares are normally sown by August 8. This year 80.2 million hectares have been covered under various crops by August 8, 2012," he said.

The minister said the Centre has constituted central teams to visit the states and assess the situation.

On steps taken by the government, Pawar said government has introduced diesel subsidy scheme, enhancement of seed subsidy, up-scaling the central sector scheme on feed and fodder and waiver of import duty on oil cakes.

In addition, the government is providing interim assistance under calamity component of National Rural Drinking Programme (NRDWP), releasing funds under NRDWP and Integrated Watershed Management Programme, etc., he added. 

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