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Drought situation `alarming'

Our Bureau


Dr Panjab Singh, Director-General, ICAR (sitting right), and Dr H.P. Singh, Director, CRIDA (sitting left), with Dr I.V. Subba Rao, Vice-Chancellor, Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University (right), and Dr Y.S. Ramakrishna, Project Co-ordinator, Agro-Met, CRIDA, in Hyderabad on Thursday.

HYDERABAD, Aug. 1

THE current drought situation in the country is more alarming than what prevailed in 1987. "It is very alarming because the drought spread is very wide", says Dr Panjab Singh, Director-General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

The ICAR chief said that there was 60 per cent deficit rainfall in western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, 40 to 60 per cent deficit in east Madhya Pradesh, east Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, south interior Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and 20 to 40 per cent deficit rainfall in west M. P., Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Telangana in Andhra Pradesh, coastal Karnataka, Orissa and Goa.

Normal rainfall was received in very few areas of the country.

He told presspersons here on Thursday that the ICAR institutions were constantly monitoring the situation. Contingency plans have been drawn to minimise the drought effect. In case the rains fail up to August 15, the All India Coordinated Research Project on Dryland Agriculture has evolved the alternate crop planning to meet weather aberrations in different regions.

Dr. Singh has also written to all agricultural research institutions and Vice-Chancellors of various universities to make available to farmers whatever seed they have in store for cultivating alternate crops. The Union Agriculture Ministry is also geared up to supply the required inputs to the farmers.

He, however, said that the situation had improved slightly in the past few days, as there was rainfall in many parts of the country. Rainfall is also expected in the next 48 hours at many places in Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, east M. P., Vidarbha, Marathwada and parts of A.P.

The Vice-Chancellor of Achraya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University, Dr. I. V. Subba Rao, said that there could be some retrieval of crops if there was a widespread rainfall during the next one week.

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