Chief Secretary directs Agri and Horticulture Depts to prepare an action plan to tackle drought like situation

Shimla: Rain deficiency has affected a large chunk of cultivated land in the state and created a drought-like situation. As per the state government, 1.46,508 hectares of cultivated land were affected due to less rainfall in the state and estimated loss to the tune of Rs. 10820.57 lakh.

The state has 4,13,134 hectare cropped area.

As per the preliminary data received, the highest loss had been reported in district Bilaspur where 20,280 hectares of land out of the total cropped area of 28020 hectares had been affected resulting in a loss of Rs. 3259.37 lakh. In district Chamba, 3571 hectares of land had been reported to be affected causing a loss of Rs. 815.58 lakh. Similarly, all other districts had also been affected due to scanty rainfall.

Taking serious note of the situation, state Chief Secretary Anil Khachi hold a video conference with the Deputy Commissioners on Saturday to review the preparedness to deal with the drought-like situation in the state, instructed the agriculture, horticulture and the allied departments to prepare district-level action plans to readily mitigate with such situation.

Khachi directed to constitute crop weather watch groups. He directed the agriculture department to prepare a database on weather, crop conditions to assist the state disaster management authority (SDMA).

He said that presently drinking water supply was normal across the state however as per the information supplied by the districts agriculture sector had been affected due to scanty rainfall during this year.

Anil Khachi said that various schemes of Jal Shakti Vibhag had also been affected due to short rainfall. Out of the total of 9526 schemes of the department, 401 schemes had been affected up to 25 percent, 197 schemes between 25 to 50 percent, 87 schemes between 50 to 75 percent and 28 schemes affected were more than 75 percent.  He said that to overcome this problem, Jal Shakti Vibhag must identify the water suppliers in the respective areas and fix the rates for transportation of drinking water as and where required.

He directed to maintain all traditional as well as private water resources besides cleaning of natural water bodies and to make available adequate water sterilization tablets in each district.

Anil Khachi directed the Forest department to maintain a list of forest fire-prone areas so that manpower could be deployed to keep a watch in such areas. He directed the Deputy Commissioners to plan a meeting with forest officers so that the fires could be minimized and controlled well in time

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.