Patna, Aug. 30: Ten districts are reeling from a drought-like situation.
Vyasji, the principal secretary of the disaster management department, said today officials had been asked to tour Jamui, Bhagalpur, Munger, Lakhisarai, Begusarai, Sheikhpura, Madhubani, Nawada, Samastipur and Gopalganj every week to take stock of the situation.
“The Centre has some parameters for declaring a state drought-hit. Drought is declared in a state if the monsoon arrives late or pauses all of a sudden, ponds dry up and groundwater-level depletes. Besides, the rising prices of foodgrain and other commodities are also taken into count. The 10 districts facing the drought-like situation do not fulfil these criteria right now but their situation is critical,” said the officer.
The disaster management department has forwarded a foolproof rehabilitation package to the state government and it would be implemented in the 10 identified districts even if they were not declared drought-hit, the officer said.
In the 2009-10 financial year, as many as 26 districts were declared drought-hit. In the 2010-11 fiscal, the entire state was declared drought-hit.
Vyasji said the monsoon was delayed by two weeks this year. From June 1 to August 27, the state has received 24 per cent less than normal precipitation.
While the state is ready to fight the drought-like situation, it is gearing up to tackle flood. Chief minister Nitish Kumar had also asked the officials to be ready for inundation.
The department has prepared a standard operating procedure to fight flood. The villages having the history of inundation have been identified and its list is ready in every district. Resources like boats and tents have also been kept handy for distribution in case of flood.
“The department at present has 220 motorboats. Total 200 new boats are being made and will be distributed across the 28 districts,” Vyasji said.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been pre-positioned in Supaul, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and Darbhanga.
High-level areas have also been identified.