BHUBANESWAR: With the Meteorological department predicting less rainfall this monsoon, the Odisha Government today asked the District Collectors to prepare contingency plans to tackle any possible drought situation.
As part of its preparation, the state government today cancelled the three-day 'Raja' festival for all employees of the agriculture department, said state agriculture minister Pradeep Kumar Maharathy here.
The Raja festival, mostly an agrarian festival celebrated in the state, would be celebrated on June 14 to June 16.
"All officials of the department have been instructed to remain alert to tackle the situation. 24-hour control rooms will be opened in district agriculture offices in the state," the minister said adding weather related information would be fed to farmers from block offices.
Maharathy said the Collectors would inform in advance about the requirement of their areas including requirement of seeds, fertiliser and pesticide by the farmers.
"The collectors will encourage the farmers to grow crops which require less water for harvest," the minister said.
Additional director of agriculture department Aparti Sethi said the Centre has warned the state regarding possible drought situation due to chances of less rainfall this year.
"Necessary directives have been sent to the District Collectors from the Special Relief Commissioner's office," he said.
Meanwhile, Sarat Chandra Sahu, the director of IMD, Bhubaneswar said, arrival of monsoon in Odisha could be delayed by some days.
"The monsoon may touch Odisha between June 13 and June 15," Sahu said.