Chatra worst hit by drought - State's claims match ours, say visiting officials

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 21.08.10
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Hazaribagh, Aug. 20: Director of National Horticulture Board Bijay Kumar, who is heading the central team currently conducting a drought survey in Jharkhand, today admitted that the state’s assessment of the dry condition matched with their findings.

He made this observation while touring Chatra, which he declared to be worst-affected. Kumar also said that the situation in Jharkhand was very grim.

The eight-member central team has split into two groups for touring drought-affected districts to assess the ground situation.

Kumar and two other members visited Hazaribagh and Ramgarh yesterday. The same team left for Chatra late in the evening and held a meeting with administrative officers led by additional collector Vijay Kumar Singh. They collected rainfall data of the past two years and details of paddy sown and soil moisture content.

Later, the three went to Chatra sadar hospital, where they interacted with undernourished children and spoke to doctors about the treatment being provided to them. They also visited a village, Dewaria, in Sadar block to monitor a lift irrigation project.

“The situation is very grim in Jharkhand. Whatever we have seen and found so far during our tour of the state match with the report that the Jharkhand administration sent to the Centre. Chatra is worst-affected as the farmers have not been able to sow paddy due to lack of rain in the past two years,” Kumar said.

He also stressed on the need for immediate relief measures, but added that any decision would be taken by the Union government in consultation with the state on the basis of their report. The team will submit the report to the finance ministry, which will release funds.

“We were asked to focus on government projects to provide maximum benefits to villagers and thus stop migration. They also directed us to ensure supply of water through tankers,” a Chatra official said. The team later left for Giridih.