Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Wednesday, 12 August 2015 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

Balangir which is infamous for frequent occurrence of drought and consequent distress migration is all set to face another spell of drought situation with monsoon having played truant.
Rains have eluded farmers here at a time they are badly needed. In the absence of assured irrigation to the paddy field, farmers have resigned to their fate.
Expecting a minimum normal monsoon, the Agriculture Department hadtargeted to take up paddy cultivation in 1, 85,000 hectares of land this year in the district.
According to Agriculture office sources, as there was normal rainfall in June, farmers took up broadcasting method of paddy cultivation in 1, 18,727 hectares out of a total of 1,18,727 hectares. Transplanting of paddy has been taken up in 29,960 hectares out of 76,600 hectares.
Paddy cultivation has to go through the crucial operations like transplanting and related works which require standing water or a heavy rainfall of more than 60 mm in a day throughout the district.
The district received only 249 mm rainfall in July this year against an average rainfall of 360 mm.
Till August 10, the district has received only 25.9mm rainfall which is woefully inadequate to carry out further agricultural operations.
So far, the rainfall has helped to keep the soil wet and plant alive. But further agriculture operations like transplanting of paddy saplings require heavy rain.
Paddy cultivation in the district has been undertaken in two ways, broadcasting and transplanting method. In the broadcasting method, farmers sowed the seed in summer/first week of June.
In this process, farmers plough paddy fields again in order to clear weeds.
In the second process, paddy seedlings are raised in a nursery and after nearly 21 days, the saplings are planted in the field for which much water is required.
But neither in the month of July nor till August 9 last there was a heavy rainfall of more than 60 mm in a day throughout the district. The rainfall was localised and erratic. As a result, the paddy seedling nursery bed has been “old”. Wherever planted, the soil in the paddy filed has started cracking and it is heading for grim situation of drought, says an Agriculture official.
What is more intriguing  is even though the district has experienced severe drought as monsoon rainfall plays truant ,yet no assured irrigation system has been developed nor the farm pond technique implemented to conserve water in paddy field.
Worse still, the local water bodies, like Muda, Kata, pond and others which provide crucial life saving irrigation, are not having adequate water for lack of maintenance.
Meanwhile, members of Bolangir Zilla Krushak Mahasangha led by Sudhir Parschha in its recent meeting decided to stage a dharna before the district collectorate on August 12 demanding fulfilment of different demands which include extension of crop insurance deadlineand other remedial measures to tackle the impending drought.
Another related news
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR | in Bhubaneswar 
The spectre of drought is looming large over many parts of Odisha due to meagre rainfall since June this year.Overall, the State has received 13 per cent less than the normal rainfall from June till August 10. But the situation is particularly bad in six districts.Canal water has not reached agricultural fields, as a result of which there is no farming activity.

While 11 districts have received less than average rainfall, six have had below-normal rainfall till August 10.According to local Met office statistics, as against the average rainfall of 680 mm in Odisha from June to August 10, the State has received 570 mm this year which is 13 per cent less than the average.
The situation in three coastal districts and three southern districts has become precarious. While Puri, Nayagarh and Khordha have received 40 per cent less than the normal rainfall, there has been 39 per cent less rainfall in Balangir and 37 per cent less each in Kandhamal and Koraput districts.

Meanwhile however, the Met office on Tuesday predicted heavy rainfall in the south and interior south districts in the next 48 hours under the influence of a low pressure.The Met office said two cyclonic circulations have been formed. While one cyclonic circulation has been formed in the north Bay of Bengal and lying over Chhattisgarh and its adjacent areas, another has been formed in the west-central Bay of Bengal and is lying over Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The two cyclonic circulations are likely to take shape of a low pressure in the next 48 hours.

Under its influence, heavy rainfall is likely in most parts in the south and interior south Odisha districts.The rainfall in these areas would increase from Tuesday while there would be sporadic rainfall in other parts of the State in the next three days, the release added.


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