Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA: A day after the State government declared all the 49 rural mandals of Krishna district “drought-hit”, the Special Officer deputed to supervise the drought relief measures, Rajiv Sharma, on Thursday held a meeting with District Collector Peeyush Kumar and other officials and impressed upon them the need to take early steps to help the farmers overcome the impact of drought.

Mr. Sharma reviewed the problem of crop damages and the need for taking up relief measures with the officials of the Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Revenue and other departments.

He asked the district officials to monitor the growth of crops besides identifying the total acreage and assessing the potential yields in every village of all delta lands for the kharif season. He also wanted reports to be submitted on the extent of cultivation of different crops in upland areas and also the average extent of final harvest.

Mr. Sharma asked the officials of Animal Husbandry Department to prepare estimates for bringing in fodder from the mandals where it was available in sufficient quantity to the mandals where it was required. He said rural water supply was another area that needed full attention to be paid, especially in coastal mandals. Mr. Peeyush Kumar said very less rainfall was received than normal in 37 of the total 50 mandals in the district. There was a likelihood of lesser productivity due to lack of sufficient water supply through main canals this season, even as cultivation was taken up only in 2.86 lakh hectares as against the normal are of 3.52 lakh hectares in the district. District Revenue Officer V.V. Subba Reddy, Vijayawada Sub-Collector B.L. Chennakesava Rao, Joint Director of Agriculture K. Sambasiva Rao, Animal Husbandry Joint Director S. Bhasker Rao, Irrigation Superintending Engineer T. Chandra Rao and others were present.