HomeWeather NewsDrought-Like Situation Looms Over Odisha Due to Deficient Monsoon Rains; State Draws...

Drought-Like Situation Looms Over Odisha Due to Deficient Monsoon Rains; State Draws Contingency Plan | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

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Tuesday, August 24: Devoid of adequate rainfall conditions, parts of Odisha have begun reeling under the threat of severe drought-like conditions.

So far into this year’s southwest monsoon season, Odisha has collectively received 584.3 mm rainfall, which marks a 31% ‘deficit’ as compared to its long term average for the period between June 1 and August 23.

Moreover, only 3 of Odisha’s 30 districts have recorded ‘normal’ rainfall figures in this time frame, while all the remaining 27 fall under the ‘deficit’ category.

The highest threat of drought lingers over districts like Jajpur with 55% deficient rains, followed by Balangir (44%), Kendujhar (43%), Gajapathi (40%) and Angul (40%).

With the absence of rain-bearing systems, the bleak situation is likely to continue across the East Indian state until the rains gain pace again. The regional met department has forecast light to moderate showers over several districts of Odisha for the next five days.

However, the rainfall would be scanty—falling under the range of around 30 mm to 40 mm—until August 30. This may further aggravate the drought situation due to the significant drop in the soil’s moisture content.

Odisha draws a contingency plan to tackle the situation

If the relatively dry conditions persist, the Kharif crop and paddy production in the state is likely to be impacted severely. This period is crucial for the state, as adequate amounts of precipitation are required to carry out sowing activities.

To combat any detrimental impact on crops due to aridity, the state government has chalked out the necessary action plan. The agriculture department of the state is likely to activate pani panchayats at village levels that would assure water supply through irrigation points.

Moreover, the power distribution companies have been roped in to ensure uninterrupted supply to all lift irrigation and bore well points.

In view of the extensive damage to crops in some districts, the District Collectors have been asked to prepare a contingency plan for alternative crops in each block and panchayat.

“At least 30 blocks in 15 districts are experiencing moisture stress conditions. In the areas where paddy cultivation has suffered damage due to low rainfall, farmers would be encouraged to grow alternative crops amid the dry spell,” said Principal Secretary, Agriculture S.K. Vashisth after a high-level review meeting with Chief Secretary S.C. Mahapatra.

Moreover, officials have been instructed to expedite the repairing of all canals to ensure that the water reaches the tail end of it. Officials concerned have also been asked to ensure the livelihoods of farmers who have sustained huge losses by providing them with more labour intensive workdays under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

(With inputs from IANS)

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