Spectre of drought looms large over Bihar

Last year, the Bihar Government had declared 28 districts as drought-hit following deficient rainfall. It had distributed over Rs 1000 crore as financial assistance to farmers to cover their crop damages. DH file photo

With a whopping 45 per cent deficiency in rainfall between June 1 and July 3, the spectre of drought looms large over Bihar.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already expressed his apprehension of a possible drought in the State for the second consecutive year. Meanwhile, Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Choudhary has convened an all-party meet on July 13 to get a feedback from the legislators and discuss how to tackle the drought challenge .

Bihar, which is heavily dependent on monsoon showers for the kharif crop of paddy, received 110.4 mm rainfall between June 1 and July 3 as against the normal rainfall of 200 mm during the corresponding period. “Till now, there is a rainfall deficiency of 45 per cent. The State has not been getting substantial rainfall as the monsoon trough line is lower than its normal position,” explained a MET department official. He, however, hastened to add that rainfall may pick up from next week onwards.

The issue of drought was raised in the Bihar Assembly too where RJD legislator Kumar Sarabjit asked the Nitish regime to reply as to what steps the Government was taking in the 25 districts, out of total 38 districts, facing drought.

“There are parameters set by Disaster Management Department to take a decision on declaring certain areas as drought-hit. The Government, however, has toned up its irrigation system,” said Minor Irrigation Minister Narendra Narayan Yadav.

Last year, the Bihar Government had declared 28 districts as drought-hit following deficient rainfall. It had distributed over Rs 1000 crore as financial assistance to farmers to cover their crop damages.

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