Government urged to declare Bidar drought-hit

Staff Correspondent

BIDAR: Bidar district seems to be on the verge of a drought after untimely rains have left 69 per cent of the lands unsown. Even the seedlings on the remaining 31 per cent of lands are drying up due to lack of rains.

Officials say that though 78 per cent of the average rainfall has been recorded this year, erratic rains have disrupted sowing. Rainfall from January to June has been 283 mm, as against the average of 350 mm in the same period. Rainfall in June, the most important month for cultivation, was only 52.3 mm against the average of 143 mm. Returning monsoon brings around 400 mm of rain to the district from July to December.

Sowing has been completed only in 88,186 hectares, as against the targeted 2,79,500 hectares in the district.

The following is total area sown (in hectares) with targeted area given in brackets: rice 1,261 (6,000); hybrid jowar 27,282 (75,000); minor grains 32,197 (94,000); red gram 19,841 (55,000); black gram 13,257 (35,000); green gram 9,256 (32,000); beans 198 (1,000); soya bean 9,656 (35,000); sunflower 77 (9,000).

Officials feel that even the sowing on 31 per cent of lands has been done with the hope that there will be good follow up rains. If the rains fail, there is a danger of the yield being seriously affected, said a senior official.

Political leaders have urged the State Government to declare Bidar a drought-hit district. Congress leader, Ishwar Khandre, and former Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, Subhash Kallur, have urged the Government to provide drinking water, fodder to animals, subsidised foodgrains to the people, and take up drought relief works to provide employment to farmers and farm labourers to avoid migration.

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