The meteorological department has already warned that if the inadequacy of rainfall persists for next ten days, paddy transplantation cannot be undertaken.
According to Jharkhand agriculture department’s statistics 92 per cent of the state’s total cultivated area is still not covered by irrigation and the entire agriculture operation is mainly dependent on seasonal rains. In order to mitigate the hardship of the farmers, the department has been preparing a contingency plan of Rs 14 crore for the farmers to cultivate alternative farming of crops, like maize, oilseeds pulses, sweet potato, which can be grown with less water.
Agriculture department had fixed a target of 18 lakh hectares land for paddy plantation but till July third week only 1.9 lakh hectares could be covered with paddy plantation in the state.
According to figure available from the meteorological department, Jharkhand has so far received only 279.8 mm of rainfall as against an average normal of 467.2 mm. Paddy cultivation in Jharkhand requires at least 100 days of rainfall. However, direct sowing of paddy requires less water and gets ready in two to three months.
Meanwhile, Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) has been generating less power because its two hydel power units at Sikidiri, 45 km from the state capital stopped power generation as Subernarekha river dam that feeds Sikidiri station reservoir failed to receive required water from Subernarekha dam. JSEB sources said Subernarekha river needs heavy rainfall to feed JSEB’s Sikidiri reservoir for operation of its two units. These two units can generate 100Mw to feed to the state grid.