if the drought-like situation persists in Tripura, there is a danger of the state facing a famine. Three members of a tribal family at Wakhiraipara in west Tripura have already committed suicide as they could not cope with hunger. Rabindra Debbarma, general secretary of Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti ( tujs ), said the three, Nripendra Debbarma, his wife Mayabati and their only son Kutchung, were unemployed and starving for nearly a week. Debbarma said that only one such incident had come to light, but at least 41 people had already died of starvation in the state.
According to the state agricultural minister, A Debbarma, crops on 25,000 hectares of land have been completely damaged and nearly 55,000 families have been affected due to the drought. "Compared to 155 mm rainfall in 1998, this year the state has only received 57 mm," said Debbarma.