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Drought hits Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan; 52 districts affected

From Money Control News

The wheat sown in the ongoing Rabi season in Madhya Pradesh has already been affected due to low levels of water in reservoirs and a deficient monsoon in some parts.

Over 270 tehsils spread across 52 districts in the states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have been officially declared as drought-hit areas this Kharif season, according to a report by Business Standard.

The Chattisgarh government informed Parliament that 96 tehsils across 21 districts have been hit by drought. Similarly, 133 tehsils across 18 districts in Madhya Pradesh and 41 tehsils across 13 districts in Rajasthan have been declared drought-hit areas.

To provide assistance to drought-hit areas, the three states have sought for a combined assistance of Rs 11,186 crore from the Centre. Madhya Pradesh has sought Rs 3,706 crore, Rajasthan has sought Rs 3,078 crore and Chattisgarh has asked for Rs 4,401 crore.

However, the Centre needs approve the sanctioning of relief funds before any of it is passed on to the states.

Last year, Karnataka  Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala and Tamil Nadu had sought assistance of Rs 54,772 crore for drought-hit areas, but only Rs 5,436 crore of the total amount requested was approved by the Centre.

The wheat sown in the ongoing Rabi season in Madhya Pradesh has already been affected due to low levels of water in reservoirs and a deficient monsoon in some parts.

If the drought-hit areas are not provided with additional irrigation facilities, it is bound to impact the wheat already sown in these areas. Until Thursday, wheat was sown in around 318,000 hectares across the state.

This year, the southwest monsoon was ‘below normal’, falling short by around five percent of the long-term average. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said this was due to Pacific cyclones over the Bay of Bengal pulling the monsoon current there, leading to the disappearance of rain over central and northern India.

Although IMD had predicted normal rain in August and September, the actual rain was around 4 percent and 12 percent less, respectively, in those months. The available data shows that 210 of the country’s 630 districts received deficient rainfall this year.

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