Drought situation alarming in Bihar, admits central team

Patna, Aug 13 (IANS) A central team visiting drought-hit Bihar has described the situation as alarming, an official said Friday.

The central team visited half a dozen drought-hit districts of the state.

‘The drought situation is alarming and a matter of serious concern,’ a member of the central team told IANS here after visiting Gaya, one of the 28 districts declared drought-affected due to 23 percent rainfall deficit.

According to official sources, the team visited some districts including Bhagalpur, Gaya, Bhojpur, Patna, Banka and Jehanabad. ‘The officials visited villages, interacted with farmers and held discussion with district officials including district magistrates to assess the drought situation,’ another official of the team said.

Last week, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar handed over a memorandum to the central government in New Delhi seeking financial help of Rs.5,062 crore to tackle the drought.

The drought has affected hundreds of thousands of people for a second consecutive year.

The shortage in rains has badly hit paddy sowing and transplantation in Gaya, Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Arwal, Nawada, Patna, Rohtas, Kaimur and Nalanda.

Over a dozen districts in Magadh and Patna divisions are worst hit. Last year, the government declared 26 districts drought-hit.

The monsoon usually hits the state June 12-14.

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