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Drought-like situation in many Indian states could hit food production, income: Expert

An expert has warned that as many as seven big states, apart from several small states in the north-east part of India are in danger by a drought-like condition that could severely hit the food production as well as income in the coming months.

An associate professor in Civil Engineering Department of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar, Vimal Mishra said that “The soil moisture deficit is under extreme to exceptional category in many states and if the condition doesn’t improve, many parts of the country could witness a water crisis like the one in 2015-16”.

Over 33 crore people in 2.5 lakh villages of 266 districts in 11 states were affected by the severe drought in 2015-16, according to a report.

Mishra said, “but the drought this year is different from the previous ones as water shortage is already affecting a large part of the country”. He said states, where the rainfall scarcity has already turned into drought-like situations, include Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Bihar, Jharkhand also many north-eastern states.

Although the India Meteorological Department had predicted 97% of long-period rainfall at an average of 89 centimeters in 2018 south-west monsoon season, rainfall received was merely 91%.

On the other hand, some states have already announced a drought in their jurisdictional regions. Karnataka on one side declared 100 talukas across 24 districts as drought-affected in October; Bihar on the other side said a drought was looming as 33 out of its 38 districts faced rain shortage during the monsoon season. Karnataka has already asked for Central assistance of Rs. 2,434 crore for drought relief.



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