21 Odisha dists drought-hit, 41 death reports received: SRC

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 29:

A total of 139 blocks across 21 districts in Odisha are drought affected according to eye estimate reports, informed GVV Sarma special relief commissioner (SRC) while briefing reporters here today.

GVV Sarma
GVV Sarma

“According to the provisions of the Odisha Relief Code (ORC), as a first step basing on rainfall received collectors are required to submit an eye estimation report on crop condition in their districts.  According to the eye estimate report over 33 percent crop loss has been reported in 139 blocks in 21 districts,” said Sarma.

“Further according to the ORC, after the eye estimate report is received a detailed crop cutting experiment is conducted. After crop cutting experiment, which village has actually suffered loss is identified and again which farmer has suffered crop loss beyond 33 percent is identified. After that is done, according to rules, agricultural input subsidy is provided to the affected farmer from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). Steps are being taken according to the ORC rules,” the SRC said.

The SRC confirmed that the state government has received inquiry reports from collectors on 41 farmer deaths and the reports were under examination.

“We have received reports from collectors of different districts on farmer suicides. We are studying that. In my understanding it is not appropriate to exactly analyze a particular case as an example. There has to be a holistic approach towards agriculture. Concerned departments of the government are working for development and progress of agriculture. We are taking steps for more coordinated action in that direction. We have received reports on 41 deaths,” Sarma said.

Sarma announced that action will be taken against unregistered money lenders extending private loans to farmers.

“Appropriate action as per provisions of the Odisha Money Lender Act is being taken against persons indulging in money lending without having proper registration wherever such cases are detected,” said Sarma.

“There is need for taking several steps for comprehensive development in the field of agriculture. Steps are required to be taken both at the national and state level. We are working for a coordinated approach between concerned departments,” said Sarma.

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