With inadequate rainfall in the current monsoon season, a drought situation is looming large in nine districts of Odisha. State Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy said that this is likely to affect farmers.
Stating that farmers may be affected in 104 blocks of the state, the minister said, "Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the agriculture department to submit a report on the situation within seven days. Based on the report, drought assistance would be provided to the farmers."
The Chief Minister had held a review meeting over the impeding drought situation. Maharathy said, "I and ministry officials would visit the nine districts soon to assess the situation. Solar pump sets would be provided to the farmers. Over 17,000 quintals of mung and biri seeds, 23,800 quintals of oil seeds and one lakh quintals of paddy have been stored for alternative farming and would be supplied to the drought-affected farmers."
The state unit of the BJP has submitted a memorandum with a six-point charter of demands on the drought situation. The demands included compensation to farmers, assessment of losses, and postponement of repayment of loans until the drought situation improves. State BJP president K.V. Singhdeo said,
"We visited the drought-affected areas and prepared a report. This year's drought is more than intense than in 1965. But the government has not taken any steps to meet the situation."