Shimla: Taking into account the long dry spell during the ongoing monsoon season, the Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday declared all the 12 districts of the state as drought-affected. It decided to summon drought damage report from the field and submit detailed memorandum to the government of India for compensation under drought relief measures.
The State has been experiencing deficient rainfall since the month of October, 2008, to July, 2009. Reports, based upon the ‘Special Girdawari’ ordered in February, 2009, have been received from the Deputy Commissioners, reporting loss of crop ranging upto 96 percent in the entire State. The state has so far received a sum of Rs 21.22 crore only, as part payment of the first installment of Rs 42 crore, of the Calamity Relief Fund, which has been fully utilised by disbursement to the deputy commissioners and various departments for taking corrective measures to deal with drought conditions in respective districts at the field level. Rs 7.40 crore have been spent during the period upto July, 2009 over providing subsidy on transpiration of water through tankers to water scarce areas. Rs 1.20 crore has also been released for the same purpose recently.
Rs 16.34 crore have been released to Irrigation and Public Health Department through Deputy Commissioners for drilling of additional hand-pumps in the water scarce areas. Additionally Rs 4.02 crore have been released to meet the expenditure on transportation subsidy to farmers. Rs. 5 crore have been released to Agriculture and Horticulture Departments to subsidise the agricultural inputs.
In view of gravity of the prolonged drought conditions in the state, the cabinet has decided to sanction Rs 7 crore out of its own resources to meet the contingency of drought. It also decided to remit the land revenue of the farmers for Rabi and Kharif crops.