AP seeks reports to declare drought in rain-deficit areas

Hyderabad: With all four districts in Rayalaseema region and another 256 mandals receiving deficit rainfall this year, Andhra Pradesh Government has sought reports from respective Collectors for declaration of drought as per norms, the Assembly was informed today.

“In view of the deficit rainfall received in four Rayalaseema districts and 256 mandals, out of 670 mandals in the state, short fall in sowing area and withering conditions of rainfed crops, especially in Rayalaseema and Prakasam in Coastal Andhra; the District Collectors were requested to furnish proposals for declaration of drought duly following GOI (Central) and GoAP (State) norms,” a statement issued by Deputy Chief Minister N Chinna Rajappa said.

The state has received an average rainfall of 372.8 mm as on August 31 as against the normal of 403.3 mm with a deviation of (-) 8 per cent, the statement said.

All nine coastal districts received normal rainfall as on August 31, while all four Rayalaseema districts got scanty monsoon showers, it said.

Rayalaseema received 200.7 mm rainfall as against the normal of 281.8 mm with a deviation of (-) 29 per cent.

As on August 26, the total area sown in the State is 26.05 lakh hectares (61%) against the normal total area of 42.56 lakh hectares and normal corresponding area as on date is 31.54 lakh hectares.

The Department of Agriculture has prepared a contingency crop plan for an area of 9.1 lakh hectares with the alternative crop seed requirement of 1.39 lakh quintals and with seed subsidy of Rs 33.52 crore for 14 crops in six districts.

In view of the deficit rainfall status in the State, orders were issued to provide additional 50 man days wage employment per household over and above the entitled 100 man days during 2015-16, the statement added.

The debate on the drought-like condition saw a heated war of words in the House between Opposition YSR Congress led by its leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy and the ruling party MLAs.

With the YSRC leader alleging that a number of farmers have committed suicide in distress, Agriculture Minister P Pulla Rao and TDP Chief Whip Kalva Srinivasulu claimed Andhra Pradesh has the lowest such cases in the country.