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Jharkhand Govt Seeks Rs 9,682 Crore Package from Center for Drought-Affected Blocks

According to a minister on Saturday, the Jharkhand government has asked the Centre for a financial package worth Rs 9,682 crore to help the state's drought-stricken blocks.

Shivam Dwivedi
Jharkhand 's overall rainfall deficit was 49 percent in the first two months of the monsoon season
Jharkhand 's overall rainfall deficit was 49 percent in the first two months of the monsoon season

The JMM-led government declared 226 of the state's 260 blocks drought-affected on October 29 and decided to provide a cash relief of Rs 3,500 to each affected farmer family under the chief minister's drought relief scheme.

"The state government has submitted a financial memorandum to the Centre for assistance. We have requested a package of Rs 9,682 crore," state Agriculture Minister Badal Patralekh said via video conference during a review meeting with deputy commissioners and his department's officers from all districts.

According to an official, the Centre will review the state's proposal and dispatch a team to Jharkhand to assess the situation. The minister also stated that the requirement of a land possession certificate to benefit from the drought relief scheme would be removed.

"Every farmer whose name appears on the ration card data will be eligible for the scheme," he explained. Farmers no longer have to pay a fee of Rs 40 to apply for the drought relief scheme at common service centres (CSCs) or 'Pragya Kendras,' he said.

The overall monsoon rain deficit in Jharkhand was 20% as of September 30, and the situation was tough in the first two months of the session, which were critical for Kharif sowing, according to the official.

He said that the state's overall rainfall deficit was 49 percent in the first two months of the monsoon season this year. Jharkhand received 258.7mm of rainfall from June 1 to July 31, which was the "highest shortfall" since 2014, according to the Meteorological Centre.

The overall sowing of Kharif crops was 24.64 percent as of July 31 this year, according to the state agriculture department. According to the official, the state's sowing coverage was 37.18 percent as of August 15, compared to 82.07 percent in the previous Kharif season.

According to the Centre's Drought Manual 2016, a state could declare a drought based on three criteria: rainfall, impact indicators such as crop, remote sensing, soil moisture and hydrology, and ground-level assessment, he added.

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