Bhubaneswar: With the Met department predicting unseasonal rains in many parts of the state between December 7 and 10, the state government Tuesday put district collectors on alert asking them to initiate necessary measures to prevent any further crop loss.
Farmers in the state are already enduring heavy crop loss due to pest attack and untimely rains in previous months. Keeping this in view, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held a video conference with the district collectors of southern, northern and central divisions of the state and asked them to stay prepared with contingency plans to deal with any situation arising due to unseasonal rains. He directed the collectors to ensure harvested crops are shifted to and stored in safe places.
Patnaik instructed the collectors to alert the farmers regarding the Met department’s prediction. He also asked them to ensure adequate provisions at procurement centres and market yards for storage of paddy. The collectors would be allowed to spend from the Regulated Marketing Committee (RMC) funds for this purpose.
The Chief Minister also directed the collectors to complete disbursement of agriculture input subsidy of `718.5 crore to the farmers affected by drought, pest attack and unseasonal rain by December 15.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi said, “Sensitisation drive will be intensified, while farmers will be requested to shift their harvested paddy from the fields to safe places at the earliest. RMCs have been instructed to protect paddy in Mandis utilising their funds.”
Earlier, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty convened an emergency meeting with concerned officials and put collectors of 18 districts in the state on alert.
The Indian Meteriological Department (IMD) in its forecast has already said that rainfall will occur in Orissa between December 7 and 10 due to development of a low pressure over Bay of Bengal.
Its forecast for these four days is:
December 7-8: Rain/thundershower is likely to occur at many places over coastal Orissa and at a few places over interior Orissa with heavy rainfall at one or two places over the districts of Koraput, Malkangiri, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Puri, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur.
December 9: Rainfall is likely at most places over Orissa. Heavy rainfall is likely at one or two places over coastal districts and adjoining of Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Boudh, Rayagada, Jajpur.
December 9: Rainfall is likely at most places over Orissa. Heavy rainfall is predicted at one or two places over the districts of Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Dhenkanal, Angul.