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UP: Drought-hit Farmers Protest for Adequate Compensation

Seven districts of Purvanchal, including Pilibhit in Rohilkhand, which is leading in paddy production, have received 99% less than normal rainfall.

Lucknow: Peeved over scarcity of water for irrigation, farmers in several parts of Eastern and Central Uttar Pradesh are demanding that the state government declare affected regions as drought-hit and provide all possible assistance to farmers to tackle the situation created by the failure of monsoon.

Members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Apolitical) have also submitted a memorandum, addressed to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanarth, to the Deputy Commissioner in Sonbhadra region and East Uttar Pradesh. 

In the letter, BKU's Harinam Singh Verma has pointed out that farmers have become unsettled due to the “drought-like situation” and demanded that the state government release Rs 50,000 per acre as compensation for this kharif season.

Verma said even irrigation crops were wilting due to depletion in the groundwater level, as the monsoon rain has been delayed beyond a month. The government should take up cloud seeding immediately. He also demanded that the government provide adequate fodder for cattle.

Meanwhile, a high-level meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Adityanath to review the situation in the state. He directed the officers to conduct surveys in all the districts to assess the drought situation following deficient rainfall during the monsoon.

Reviewing the drought situation, the Chief Minister said that barring a few parts of the state, rains in most of the districts were abnormal and not consistent, like last year. In such a situation, full care should be taken of the needs of the farmers.

He said that it was the priority of the government to provide water to the fields of all the farmers. For this, he directed the officials to channelise the rivers and take water to the tail of the canals.

Seven districts of Purvanchal, including Pilibhit in Rohilkhand, which is leading in paddy production, have received 99% less than normal rainfall. At the same time, up to 59% less rainfall has been recorded in 33 districts, including Prayagraj, Banda, Mau, Pilibhit, Kushinagar, Deoria, Mirzapur, Chandauli and Kaushambi.

The officials of the state Relief Department told the media that a district can be declared drought hit if it records 50% less than normal rainfall for three consecutive weeks. Though in July, 281.2 millimetre rainfall has been recorded in the entire state, officials have been quoted as saying that rainfall has not been even as Western UP districts have recorded more rain compared with the Eastern region and Bundelkhand.

According to the figures of the Irrigation Department, the total water capacity of 71 reservoirs is 10,883.67 MCM, while at present the total water availability in these reservoirs is 2868.41 MCM. This is only 26.33% of the total capacity.

Due to poor rainfall in the last three weeks, paddy sowing has also been affected.  Against the target of 58.50 lakh hectare of paddy sowing this season, the farmers have planted 50.35 lakh hectare so far owing to good rains in early July, officials of the agriculture department told the media. They said paddy transplantation has now affected sowing of the late variety due to poor rainfall in East UP.

60-99 % Less Rainfall in 7 Districts

Pilibhit, Santakbirnagar, Mau, Mirzapur, Deoria, Kushinagar, Kaushambi

20-59 % Less Rainfall 33 Districts

Kheri, Unnao, Ambedkar Nagar, Mathura, Shahjahanpur, Rae Bareli, Hathras, Ayodhya, Bahraich, Shamli, Hardoi, Ghazipur, Amethi, Sultanpur, Sonbhadra, Ballia, Siddharthnagar, Ghaziabad, Fatehpur, Gorakhpur, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Gonda, Pratapgarh, Jaunpur, Azamgarh, Prayagraj, Chitrakoot, Maharajganj, Sitapur, Bhadohi, Basti, Chandauli and Shravasti.

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