Patnaik seeks central aid for distressed Orissa farmers

Friday, December 24, 2010

BHUBANESWAR - Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the central government for Rs.2,616.19 crore assistance to the state’s farmers who suffered huge crop losses due to drought and untimely rains this year, an official said Friday.

The chief minister on his two-day Delhi trip met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and gave him a memorandum Thursday evening, a state government official here told IANS.

The government said that over 37,000 of the state’s 51,551 villages faced drought during August and September with a severe crop loss as they did not get adequate monsoon showers on time.

Also, most parts of the state saw widespread rains Dec 6-9 due to which winter paddy crops lying in the fields were damaged.

In the memorandum, Patnaik said that the crop loss due to untimely rains was over fifty per cent in over 19,000 hectares of the crop area, the official said.

The prime minister earlier this week announced a relief package of Rs.400 crore for the farmers in neigbouring Andhra Pradesh as they too have been severely affected by the heavy untimely rains.

Patnaik told the prime minister to release an equal amount of assistance as of now for the affected Orissa farmers too, the state government official said.

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