In response to the persistent drought conditions affecting the state, the central government has announced an allocation of 100 crore rupees to implement relief plans across the nine severely impacted districts of Jharkhand. The state’s agriculture department has called for reports from all deputy commissioners in connection with this initiative. Presently, six deputy commissioners have already apprised the department of the situation in their respective districts through submitted reports. Reports from the remaining three districts are awaited and are expected to be sent soon.
This initiative is the result of Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s determined effort to address the crisis. The central government’s decision to channel aid toward the nine drought-affected districts of Jharkhand underscores its commitment to mitigating the challenges posed by prolonged dry spells. This substantial amount will be made available under the ambit of the 15th Finance Commission’s provisions.
To facilitate this process, a designated format has been dispatched to the relevant department. This format necessitates the submission of comprehensive information pertaining to the conditions prevalent in the respective districts.
Although the central government initially set August 15 as the deadline for this initiative, the lack of complete reports from all districts has led to a delay in its submission to the central authority.
Officials from the agriculture department have outlined a plan for the submission of these reports. The first step involves forwarding the reports to the state’s Disaster Management Department after receiving inputs from all districts. Subsequently, the Disaster Management Authority will transmit the consolidated report to the central government’s Disaster Management Authority. Once all the reports have been received and reviewed, the allocated funds will be disbursed accordingly.
The chosen districts for this scheme were selected by the Central Disaster Management Authority from the twelve states across the country that have been facing persistent drought conditions. The Central Disaster Management Authority has designated the districts of Dhanbad, Gumla, Ramgarh, Palamu, Garhwa, Latehar, Dumka, Bokaro, and Paschim Singhbhum for this initiative.
The allocated sum will be disbursed equally to the District Disaster Management Committees formed under the chairmanship of the respective district deputy commissioners. These committees will be responsible for devising plans aimed at the upliftment of local farmers and allocating funds towards various projects conducive to their welfare.
Reports on the ongoing conditions are being submitted daily by the state’s agriculture department, including updates on the preparations for the Kharif crops and daily rainfall statistics, to the central government.
Acknowledging the situation, Agriculture Minister has acknowledged that the state is currently grappling with drought conditions for the second consecutive year. The cultivation of rice, the main staple crop in the region, is a matter of concern, particularly due to the scarce rainfall. The state has observed a 47 percent reduction in paddy cultivation due to the scarcity of rainfall.
Last year, 236 blocks were declared drought-affected. In response, the department has initiated the formulation of an action plan to address the situation effectively.
Under the leadership of Chief Minister Hemant Soren, a meeting of the Disaster Management Authority will be convened to discuss the reports on the crop situation. Subsequent decisions aimed at providing relief to the farmers will be taken after a comprehensive assessment of the situation.