Jharkhand govt declares 18 districts drought-hit, releases Rs 490-mn relief

The worst affected are Pakur and Koderma

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The Jharkhand government on Monday declared 129 blocks in 18 districts drought-affected and released Rs 490 million for immediate relief, an official said. 

A communication in this regard has been sent to the central government asking for assistance, the Disaster Management official told IANS following a survey conducted by the Raghubar Das government.

"Rs 49 crore (Rs 490 million) have been sent to the affected districts to be used for drinking purposes, fodder for animals and help to farmers," he added.

The survey came after Chief Secretary Sudhir Tripathy conducted a meeting in October.

As per the data, Jharkhand received 72 per cent average rainfall in 2018. However, in some places, it was less than 50 per cent. The worst affected are Pakur and Koderma.   

Ranchi, Khunti, Gumla, Garhwa, Latehar, Dumka, Jamtara, Deoghar and others received more than 50 per cent but less than 75 per cent rainfall.

The drastic lack of rainfall affected paddy sowing, which was less than 16 per cent of the average.

According to the official, paddy sowing is done on 1.8 million hectares of land in the state. However, this year sowing took place only in 1.527 million hectares. 

The average rainfall in the state is 1,027.7 mm, but in 2018 it received only 741.9 mm.

In August and September, the normal rainfall in Jharkhand is 276.2 mm and 235.5 mm, respectively, but it received only 213.2 mm and 133.6 mm. The shortfall in the September rainfall damaged the crops, the official added.