Over half of Odisha districts under drought threat

According to figures available with the revenue department, since the beginning of the June till July 21, the overall rainfall deficit was about 29% in the state compared to only 8% during the same period last year. (PTI File Photo)

Possibility of drought is looming large over Odisha, with as many as 21 out of 30 districts receiving less than normal rainfall since the beginning of the monsoon.

However, local met office predicted heavy rain in some pockets of the state from July 24 which may improve the situation. “We are monitoring monsoon on a daily basis and adequate steps will be taken to handle the situation at an appropriate time”, said revenue minister Sudam Marandi.

According to figures available with the revenue department, since the beginning of the June till July 21, the overall rainfall deficit was about 29% in the state compared to only 8% during the same period last year. The monsoon had entered the state on June 21, almost a week late and covered the entire state by June 22.

So far as below normal rainfall is concerned, six districts have been worst hit where the deficit ranged between 39 to 59%. These six districts are – Sundergarh, Deogarh and Kandhamal in western Odisha, Angul in coastal Odisha, Mayurbhanj in north Odisha and Gajapati in the south. In rest fifteen districts, the rainfall deficit was between 19 to 39%.

The Nine district which received normal rain are – Koraput, Nowrangpur, Cuttack, Kalahandi, Jharsuguda, Puri, Malkangiri, Bargarh, and Khurda. State capital Bhubaneswar is part of coastal Khurda district.

The government has formed a “Crop Weather Watch Group Committee” to look into the developments on possible drought on a weekly basis. Other state government agencies like Agriculture Production Commissioner and drought monitoring center under Odisha State Disaster Management Authority(OSDMA) are also keeping a close watch on the situation.

 
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