Govt plans to fight drought like situation with scheme fund

IMPHAL, 8th Oct: Around 45,601 'Paris' of paddy fields in four valley districts of the state are facing drought like situation and farmers fear of losing this year’s yield. To deal with the situation, chief minister N Biren convened a lengthy discussion with top officials of all the line departments at his secretariat office Monday morning.

The meeting attended by additional chief secretary, secretary, directors, chief engineers and additional chief engineers of line departments like agriculture, horticulture, water resources, minor irrigation, CADA and PHED decided to procure water pumps at the earliest with Rs 87 lakh fund from Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY).

When contacted after the meeting, agriculture director Ph Rajendro informed The People’s Chronicle that most of the paddy fields in valley districts of the state are facing drought like situation and farmers are putting their hands on their heads. However, no one could be blamed for this unnatural phenomenon caused by environmental degradation and climate change. Nevertheless, we have to tackle this problem by taking up necessary measures, he said, while adding that farmers who have sown their paddy in June-July are fortunate to be not much affected by rainfall deficit but those who had sown late fear that they would not be able to reap any yield.

According to Rajendro, respective district agriculture officers in Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur have identified paddy fields affected by drought and a survey in this regard had already been done. As per data available in the department, there are around 1,06,000 Paris of paddy fields in the four valley districts and with Imphal East being the worst affected at around 45,601 Paris.

Out of 33,090 Paris of paddy fields in Imphal East, 16,236 Paris are facing drought and the affected paddy fields are categorized as worse, intermediate and little as per a report of the survey. Around 10,000 Paris in the district are categorised under worse affected particularly paddy fields of Seijang, Leimakhong Mapan and Telou-Chana where no irrigation facility exist, he said, adding that 6,236 Paris in the district are affected under the second category (intermediate). Around 7,500 Paris of paddy fields in Bishnupur, 10,965 in Thoubal and 10,900 in Imphal West are also facing drought. Around 2,500 Paris of Paddy fields in Kumbi and Wangoo Sandangkhong area in Bishnupur district are worse affected and around 3,000 Paris are affected intermediately. In Imphal West district, around 4,200 Paris are under worse affected category and 2,400 Paris and 4,300 Paris in intermediate and little affected category respectively. While informing that five percent of the fund released under RKVY being executed collectively by line departments is earmarked for disaster management, Rajendro said the said fund plus state’s matching share totaling Rs 87,00,000 has been reserved for procuring water pumps. After purchasing water pumps in the next few days, water to worse affected paddy fields would be provided, he said, adding that 50 more water pumps presently available in Minor irrigation department will also be utilized. Area to be provided water pumps will also be finalized soon, he added.

Meanwhile, chief engineer (MI) H Brojendro informed that the department mans a total of 172 River Lift Irrigation scheme in the state and 145 of them are functional currently and mechanics have been sent to repair non-functional ones too.

In the first phase, around 30 RLI schemes in Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur have started functioning but some area are facing drought despite having irrigation facility, he said, adding that the department is targeting to provide water to paddy fields covered under 50 RLI facing drought. He also appealed to farmers to inform department and cooperate in providing water to drought hit paddy fields. 

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