Reports confirm drought in Manipur

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The normal rainfall in 2009 was 1435.60 mm while the annual rainfall was only 992.60 mm. The deficit rainfall in 2009 was 443 mm. The drought status can be declared if the annual rainfall does not reach 75 percent of the normal rainfall. The present rainfall in the state is much less than 75 percent, stated the agriculture officials.

Manipur, IMPHAL, July 16: Though the state had witnessed adequate rainfall in the previous years 2010 and 2011, the state is now in a drought-like condition with the total annual rainfall of this year short of 313.22 mm than the normal range.

According to the officials of agriculture department, only 56 percent of the total agricultural land in the state is cultivable. The state is facing a drought-like condition and hence the government can declare drought status in the state.

The total area of paddy fields in both hill and valley regions is 2,13,280 hectares, however only 1,20,348 hectares of paddy fields are cultivable in the state. Nursery paddy plants have been planted only in 1,18,629 hectares while paddy seeds have just begun to sprout in 1719 hectares.

The worst affected districts of the state are Thoubal and Bisnnupur.  About 33 percent of the total paddy fields in Thoubal and 23 percent paddy fields in Bishnupur could bear fruits while the rest have been rendered futile.

The state is most likely to face drought if adequate amount of rainfall is not received within few days. Similar condition was faced in 2009 when the annual rainfall was much beyond the normal range. The state government had subsequently taken up steps to mitigate the losses of the farmers.

The normal rainfall in 2009 was 1435.60 mm while the annual rainfall was only 992.60 mm. The deficit rainfall in 2009 was 443 mm. The drought status can be declared if the annual rainfall does not reach 75 percent of the normal rainfall. The present rainfall in the state is much less than 75 percent, stated the agriculture officials.

The agriculture minister and director have already inspected the paddy fields in Imphal East and West. The paddy fields in Bishnupur and Senapati district were also inspected by the agriculture officials today.

A meeting of agricultural officials was scheduled with the Chief Minister on July 12, however the meeting was postponed due to the issues of ILP and bandh called by SAYO on NH-2. Since then, there has been no official communication between the Chief Minister and the agriculture officials.

Surprisingly, the officials did not even know the transfer of agriculture commissioner. Formerly, the post of agriculture commissioner was held by Letkhogin Haokip and it was recently transferred to Rajesh Agarwal.

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