Inter-ministerial Central team tours drought-hit villages in Mysuru dist

Farmers in the district have urged members of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) to take measures to tackle the drought situation. The team members were touring the district to assess the drought situation.

The team members included Additional Secretary, Union Agriculture Ministry Jalaj Srivastava; Research Officer, NITI Aayog, B Anuradha;  Superintendent Engineer, Ministry of Water Resources V Mohan Murali and Director, Finance Ministry, Sachdeva. The members visited various villages in the district to get first hand information about the drought situation.

Srivastava said that a detailed report would be submitted to the Union government after a meeting is held in Bengaluru on February 13. Three teams are touring the state to study the severity of the drought, Srivastava said.

H K Mallikarjun, a farmer of Harohalli, said that though a fodder bank was established two months ago, there is no sufficient fodder available there. “The authorities have distributed fodder only twice after the bank was set up. Farmers pay Rs 100 for 10 bundles of straw. The authorities should provide fodder free of cost,” he said.

Villagers said that the region had not received good rains in the past three years with nearby ponds and lakes drying up and the government not issuing any crop loss compensation.

MLA G T Devegowda said that people were facing hardships due to the severity of the drought. “The problem of drinking water and fodder is rampant. There is an urgent need for goshala (cattle shelter) at every grama panchayat in the district. The government should release more funds to manage the situation,” he said.

The team members also witnessed supplying of drinking water through tankers at Jattihundi village in the taluk. At a meeting with the team members earlier, Deputy Commissioner D Randeep said that the district administration needs Rs 32.26 crore to manage the drought situation.

The DC said that in 2016, the district has faced 45% deficit rainfall. In normal years the district receives 815.3 mm of rainfall, but this time the district has received only 450.9 mm of rain. With 56.3 mm of rainfall between October and December 2016, the district suffered 73% shortage in rainfall during rabi season, the DC said.

Randeep explained that the district needs Rs 4.1 crore to supply drinking water through tankers. At present, water is being supplied through tankers in Mysuru and Nanjangud taluks. According to the DC, fodder is sufficient for the next ten weeks. As much as 2,13,147 metric tonne of fodder is available.
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