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Sacnty rainfall to hit 3.5 million people

BS Reporter  |  Chennai/ Hyderabad 

More than 3.5 million farm workers would be left jobless under the prevailing drought like conditions in the state due to scanty rainfall, according to revenue minister Dharmana Prasada Rao.

The state had a 49 per cent deficit rainfall and over 880 of the 1,100 mandals are facing extreme conditions.

Chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who chaired a high-level meeting to review the seasonal conditions, directed the officials of the rural development department to provide work to 3.5 million people under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme by spending Rs 500 crore a month.

Briefing newsmen after the review meeting, the revenue minister said Rs 35 crore had been released for procuring seed for alternative crops in areas where the normal kharif crops could not be sown because of adverse weather conditions.

“Farmers will be supplied seed at 50 per cent subsidy. The government has also decided to encourage vegetable growing by supplying seed at a 75 per cent subsidy,” he said.

The situation would be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, he said adding steps had been launched to implement a contingency plan to tackle the situation.

First Published: Mon, August 03 2009. 00:16 IST