Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in a meeting with members of the Central team which visited drought hit areas in the State, at the Secretariat on Friday
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in a meeting with members of the Central team which visited drought hit areas in the State, at the Secretariat on Friday

Amaravati: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu appealed to Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT), which inspected drought-affected districts of Nellore, Prakasam, Kadapa, Chittoor, Kurnool and Anantapur during kharif season to respond positively on the drought situation and submit a  report to the Government of India to instil confidence among farmers. He said farmers suffered  loss es due to deficit rainfall during kharif season. The team met the Chief Minister here at the Secretariat on Friday. 

Chandrababu Naidu said the state had been facing problem with continuous drought in Rayalaseema region despite efforts on water management by introducing drip and micro irrigation. With the prevailing situation farmers are suffering loss and getting demoralised. He stressed the need for a stability in agricultural income and growth and the Government of India should relax the norms to come to the rescue of farmers at the hour of crisis.

The officials submitted a report to IMCT team stating that the state has been facing drought for the 7th consecutive year. The average and actual rainfall received during kharif season 2018-19 stands at 456.6 mm as against normal rainfall of 556.0 mm and dry spells were recorded during kharif season in 522 mandals. Based on the ground situation, the state government declared 347 mandals in 9 districts as drought-affected.

The officials said that over 16.52 lakh small and marginal farmers were affected with drought conditions during kharif season and crops were damaged in 13.60 lakh hectare. They submitted a memorandum requesting additional financial assistance of Rs 1401.54 crore. They appealed for departmental-wise requirement of funds, including agriculture input subsidy of Rs 979.83 crore, horticulture 1.85 crore, rural water supply and sanitation Rs 124.58 crore, urban water supply Rs 133.21 crore, animal husbandry Rs 162.06 crore.

The Chief Minister said the Government of India should come forward to extend financial assistance to farmers by relaxing norms based on ground level problems. He said norms should be relaxed in supplying fodder to cattle in drought-affected regions. The IMCT team responded positively and said that it would submit a report to the Central government within a week.

The IMCT team led by team leader Neeraja Adidan, joint secretary, ministry of agriculture cooperation and farmers welfare, B K Srivastava, director, Directorate of Oil Seeds Development, ministry of agriculture, Ajay Kumar, department of water supply and sanitation, Amitav Chakravarthy, assistant commissioner, department of animal husbandry and fisheries, Mukesh Kumar, Deputy Director, ministry of finance, Victor Amalraj, DGM, Food Corporation of India, Rajeev Singhal, Director, Central Water Commission, Karan Chowdhary, AD, Mahalanobis National Crop Forecasting Centre and Sandeep Sarma, Dept of Rural Development met Chandrababu Naidu and revealed their observations on drought situations during kharif season.

Special Chief Secretary Satish Chandra, CM secretary A Rajamouli, Special chief secretary Dr Manmohan Singh, Commissioner of Horticulture Chiranjeevi Chowdary and others were present.

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