Loan waivers and compensation to follow
The Bihar government has declared 33 out of 38 districts of the state drought-hit. It is drawing up plans to provide compensation and waive off loans given to farmers.
The decision was taken on Wednesday evening during a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. During the monsoon session of the Assembly, the opposition had created a ruckus, demanding the state be declared drought-hit.
The state is facing 25 per cent rain deficit; it has received 668.2mm rainfall against the annual average rainfall of 892.2mm. This is the second consecutive declaration of a drought year in the state.
The drought hit districts are: Purnea, Katihar, Madhepura, Saharsa, Supaul, Bhagalpur, Saran, Siwan, Patna, Bhojpur, Buxar, Kaimur, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Nalanda, Gaya, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Nawada, Munger, Sheikhpura, Lakhisarai, Jamui, Begusarai, Khagaria Gopalganj, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Vaishali, Sheohar, East and West Champaran.
The state received monsoon rains only for 15 days despite meteorological claims that monsoon this year will be normal.
Farm relief In the meeting it was also decided that immediate relief to the farmers will be disbursed shortly. Paddy farmers in the state are worst-hit.
The relief will be provided through the State Disaster Response Corpus and the Central Disaster Response Corpus. Vyasji, principal secretary of disaster management claimed that 20 per cent paddy crops have been destroyed because of drought.
Government will waive off agriculture land rent and cess, electricity charge and water charge of the farmers after conducting a survey.
Officials also pointed out that deficit rains from June to September has severely depleted the ground water in the drought-affected districts. One of the major problems faced by the farmers post drought would be to provide fodder to cattle.
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