BHUBANESWAR: As cultivation has been affected in 30 blocks of 14 districts due to deficient rainfall, the State Government on Saturday sought situation report from the collectors at the panchayat level. The collectors have been asked to submit report within a week.Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty, who reviewed the situation at a high level meeting, said measures are being taken to save the standing crop by utilising the irrigation facilities. He said decision has been taken to repair the defunct lift irrigation points. “We will replace the defunct lift irrigation points and make arrangements to supply water to agricultural lands through various canals and uninterrupted power supply,” he said.
Mohanty said he is not sure whether the situation will improve if there is a good rainfall in next fortnight. Stating that the Government is closely monitoring the situation, he said the State’s priority now is to protect the standing crop. He said a real picture will only emerge after collectors submit panchayat wise reports and added that the Government is fully prepared to tackle the situation.
Agriculture Department has also asked the District Agriculture Officers (DAOs) to submit report about the situation. “Officials were asked to plan how to save the crop by providing water through different irrigation projects,” Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patro said. Next meeting to review the situation will be held on October 10.Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout, Agriculture Production Commissioner Gagan Kumar Dhal, Principal Secretary in Water Resources Department Pradip Kumar Jena, Managing Director of Odisha Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi, Secretary in Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Department Manoj Ahuja and senior officials were present.