Debate On Erratic Monsoon & Drought Like Situation Echoes In Odisha Assembly

Bhubaneswar: Following the scanty rainfall in Odisha even in the last part of July and drought has been looming large in most districts, the grim situation was today raised in the Assembly by the opposition and a debate ensued at the Zero Hour.   

Soon after the Question Hour, senior BJP MLA-cum-Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik raised the issue as the farmers are on tenterhooks and feeling the piquant pinches.

The serious issue was next taken up by Congress Legislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra and thus a heated debate on it ensued.

While Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marandi presented his statement, the opposition expressed its dissatisfaction.

Later, Speaker Surya Narayan Patro directed the Minister to present report tomorrow in the House on the drought or drought like situation in the State.   

In his media reactions, Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik said, “While the Revenue Minister stated that certain parts have experienced good rainfall, there too paddy crop has been affected. Generally by Rath Yatra, the farmers complete the major activities in the fields. Paddy crop harvesting will be hit this season and the farmers are going to suffer. Hence, the State Government should begin its assessment right now.”

“Around 26.3% rainfall shortage in Odisha. 21 districts have experienced rainfall below normal. Where there is irrigation facility by canal water, there the situation could be under control or else rest the places have a serious condition,” he claimed.   

Later speaking to media, Narasingha Mishra said, “The Hon’ble Minister only presented the rainfall data district-wise. But he didn’t speak about the drought situation or drought like situation and the remedial measures. He didn’t even apprehend drought.”

“He didn’t even reply on the serious issue of farmers committing suicide owing to drought. Today media has highlighted that a farmer in Bargarh has committed suicide. Now the suicide flow will go on. But, the State Government is claiming itself to be of the farmers,” he fumed.

On the contrary, senior BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy defended, “The issue was not only raised by the opposition, but also by the ruling members. I had raised it yesterday in the House. Also my party colleague Bhupinder Singh. Even amid the month of Shravan, there is erratic rain. Our Government has taken measures to deal with this situation.”

“Water that was used for hydro power production has been restricted. The Water Resources Department has intitiated efforts to tap the water sources for the cultivation purpose. But, inadequate rain will obviously aggravate the situation.”

“Today there has been rainfall in the coastal belt while no rain in the western region has been complained. In this context, steps are being taken by the State Government to utilize the water sources whatever available with us.”