The Central team, which arrived here on Sunday to assess the impact of drought in the State, will tour the State from Monday.

The team, headed by Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry of Agriculture Narendra Bhooshan, reached here in response to memoranda seeking drought relief submitted by Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash to Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde. The State government had earlier declared all the taluks of the State as drought-hit.

The nine-member team will tour the State in two groups. The first group of five led by Mr. Bhooshan will visit Ernakulam, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta districts. The second team led by Joint Commissioner of Union Department of Animal Husbandry K. Vijayakumar will tour Palakkad and Thrissur districts.

The Revenue Minister said the team members would hold discussions with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and himself on March 21, on completion of their tour. They would be assessing the loss in accordance with the Central norms.

Mr. Prakash said the nodal officer overseeing drought relief Shekhar Kuriakose, Vijay Hamsa, and deputy collectors of the districts concerned would be accompanying the team members. G. Kamala Vardhana Rao, Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, would supervise.

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