BHUBANESWAR: After announcing an almost identical packages for farmers hit by the twin calamity of drought and pest attack, the State Government has sought financial assistance of `1713.75 crore from the Centre for undertaking long-term mitigation measures.
In a memorandum submitted to the Central team during its two-day visit to the State, the Government has asked for an assistance of `785.5 crore to address issues like strengthening of pesticides testing laboratories, improving pests surveillance system, establishment of farmers counselling centres and creation of irrigation potential.
The Government has proposed to utilise `100 crore on crop-pest surveillance, `277.5 crore to increase the area under irrigation through bore-wells and lift irrigation points and `408 crore on counselling and establishment of regional pesticides testing laboratories.
“We have sought an assistance of `594.96 crore for providing alternative livelihoods through fisheries and animal husbandry activities and improvement of fisheries infrastructure,” sources in the office of the Special Relief Commissioner said.
As the State is still lagging behind in its irrigation target, the State has sought financial assistance of `320 crore for taking up long-term measures to combat drought through Water Resources department.
The other demands of the state government includes, `5.4 crore for strengthening infrastructures in the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) and `7.89 crore for Odisha Agro Industries Corporation (OAIC).
The Special Relief Commissioner had also requested the Central team to bring necessary changes in the guidelines of National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to allow the State use Central assistance made available for revival of defunct lift irrigation points, full restoration of infrastructures damaged during calamities and enhancement of input subsidy.