Drought-relief measures must be taken up immediately in the 27 mandals of the district, which were declared as drought-hit by the State Government, Collector J. Syamala Rao said at a meeting with Agriculture Department officials here on Thursday.

He instructed the Joint Director of Agriculture Girija Shankar to start the process of rescheduling of crop loans by forming guidelines by consulting with the NABARD officials. The same must be communicated to the Divisional and Mandal level officials to identify the eligible farmers.

Assessment of crop loss and providing insurance assistance to the affected farmers, encouraging farmers to raise pulses, Rajma, and other crops, supply of seeds of these crops on subsidy, providing 50 per cent input subsidy, and other steps have been discussed.

The Collector asked the District Revenue Officer D.V. Reddy to ensure that the Tahsildars issued copies of Adangal certificates to the farmers as this document was needed for securing loan from the banks. He assured that he would discuss with the bank officials on the problems being faced by farmers in securing loans from the banks.

He told the officials not to be lax in discharging their duties.

Control rooms must be opened in all the mandals and all steps must be taken to provide drinking water in the urban and rural areas, Collector J. Syamala Rao said at a meeting with officials here on Thursday.

Telephone numbers of Tahsildars’ offices should be available to all and complaints regarding drought and other problems must be registered and acted upon without delay. He wanted the officials to prepare reports on the needs of farmers and the benefits the mandals declared as drought-hit would receive.

Funds were not a problem for drinking water schemes and more funds would be provided if needed, Mr. Syamala Rao said.

At present there was no problem regarding water supply to Visakhapatnam, Anakapalle and Bheemunipatnam urban areas but plans must be made in advance to face any contingency in future, he told the officials.

Joint Collector P. Satyanarayana Reddy, Project Director of ITDA Anand Mohan, Mr. D.V. Reddy, RDOs K. Prabhakara Rao, K.R.D. Prasada Rao and M.V. Govindarajulu, ZPP CEO Satya Sai Srinivas and other officials participated in the meeting.