Nitish Kumar reviews drought scenario in south Bihar, asks DMs to prepare panchayat-wise status report
PATNA: With a drought-like condition looming large over several districts in south Bihar, CM Nitish Kumar on Sunday asked district magistrates (DMs) to prepare a panchayat-wise status report on drought in their jurisdiction.
He also asked the district agriculture officers (DAOs) to ensure that all farmers in drought-hit areas get the facility of diesel subsidy without any hassle. CM said the farmers would now get diesel subsidy at the rate of Rs 60 per litre.
Alarmed over deficit rainfall in many districts, Nitish on Sunday held a long meeting with cabinet colleagues and senior officials to review the drought situation. He also interacted with several district magistrates through video conferencing to know the ground reality.
At the meeting, CM was informed that the disaster management department (DMD) has so far distributed Rs 1,050 crore among a total of 17,51,284 flood-affected families across the state as gratuitous relief. “Each affected family was paid Rs 6,000 directly in their bank account through direct benefit transfer (DBT). The rest flood-affected families will be paid by August 25,” the DMD principal secretary Pratyay Amrit informed the CM.
After taking feedback from different departments and the DMs, Nitish said the way a representative of the Indian meteorological department has provided information, there is a possibility of drought in south Bihar.
He asked the agriculture department to take necessary steps to ensure ‘alternative cropping’ in the drought-hit areas. He also asked the officials to do proper analysis about marketing possibility of the crops which was being selected for alternative cropping.
CM also asked the officials to find out what could be alternative opportunity of employment for those farmers who will not engaged themselves in alternative cropping.
Referring to the Jal-Jivan-Hariyali Abhiyan, Nitish said the campaign would be implemented in mission mode across the state. “By coming October 2, any of the schemes to be taken under the Abhiyan, will be started in each panchayat,” he said.
Amrit further informed the CM that the state government on August 14 signed an MoU with a overseas firm- the Earth Networks- for a lightning detection and getting an advance information about the lightning in Bihar.
“As per the agreement, the company will install its sensors at seven locations –Sasaram, Nawada, Patna, Khagaria, Purnia, Motihari and Darbhanga—by October 15. Each sensor will cover an area of 200 Kms,” Amrit said.
Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi and heads of many departments attended the meeting that continued for more than five hours.