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14 Assam districts declared 'drought-hit'

July 15, 2009 11:05 IST
Even as three eastern districts in Assam are reeling under flood, 14 of the 27 districts in the state are facing an unprecedented dry spell, which compelled the state government to declare those drought affected, following a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Principal secretary of state (revenue & disaster management department) V K Pipersenia informed that Assam received only 414.8 mm rainfall during June 1 to July 12, as against the normal average of 588.8 mm --  resulting in about 30 % deficit in rainfall.

Various districts of the state have been receiving uneven rainfall leading to crop damage due to dry spells.

Meteorological drought means rainfall deficit exceeding 20% which is prevailing in districts of Bongaigaon, Cachar, Dhubri, Goalpara, Golaghat, Hailakandi, Jorhat, Kamrup, Karbi Anglong, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Morigaon, Nagaon and Sivasagar during the period from June 1 to July 12, 2009.

The government stated that the prevailing circumstances warrant special steps to mitigate large scale unemployment, food scarcity and general fall in income of the people in a drought like situation. Concerned deputy commissioners of these 14 drought-hit districts have been asked to draw up action plans for supply of drinking water, fodder and provide irrigation in dry areas to deal with the situation effectively.

Earlier, Manipur government had declared the state drought-hit in June last week in view of the deficit rainfall that affected the paddy farmers in the state hard.

Almost all the north-eastern states including Meghalaya, where highest rainfall is received, have suffered from deficit rainfall in varied ranges this year -- thanks to the weak monsoon forces.

K Anurag in Guwahati