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Farmers seek more mobile paddy procurement centres

7 mobile units, with one for each taluk, currently operational Farmers who spoke at the agriculturists grievances day meeting held here on Thursday, appealed to the district administration to take immediate steps to sanction more mobile centres for procuring paddy from farmers. They said that there was a strong case for starting more mobile units particularly to benefit farmers of Valangaiman.

Initiating a discussion, G.Sundaramurthy, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, said that a large number of farmers in and around Valangaiman had harvested hundreds of bags of paddy and urged the district administration to start more mobile units for procuring it.

S. Natarajan, District Collector, who presided over the meeting, said that presently seven mobile units were functioning in the district at the rate of one unit for each taluk to procure paddy from farmers possessing more than 300 bags each.

There was an overwhelming response to the scheme and so far 1.20 lakh tonnes of paddy worth Rs.169 crore had been procured.

Pointing out that the district has registered a good yield in paddy, he said the average daily procurement stood at 13,466 tonnes. He assured the farmers that steps would be taken for starting more mobile units.

A section of farmers expressed concern over the exclusion of their villages from crop insurance indemnity for the loss suffered during the 2012.

They said that the procedures being followed for crop cutting experiment should be restructured to benefit genuine farmers who had lost their crops. Sathappan, a paddy grower of Needamangalm, wanted inclusion of all farmers under the scheme.

The Collector assured the farmers of necessary action. The Collector said that steps have been taken to improve water table in the district under various schemes. A sum of Rs. 20 crore has been sanctioned for setting up 1,335 artificial recharge structures in the Cauvery and Vennar rivers.

P.Manimaran, District Revenue Officer, A. Azhagirisamy, Senior Regional Manager, Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation and Dhanasekaran, Joint Director of Agriculture, were present.



వరి రైతులకు వడగండ్ల పరిహారం రూ. కోటి 24 లక్షలు మంజూరు

వరంగల్ అగ్రికల్చర్/కలెక్టరేట్ (టీమీడియా): జిల్లాలో మొట్టమొదటి సారి వరి రైతులకు మాత్రమే వడగండ్ల పరిహా రం అందుతోంది. అగ్రికల్చర్ ఇన్సూరెన్స్ కంపెనీ ఎట్టకేలకు వడగండ్ల వానకు నష్టపోయిన వరి రైతులకు పరిహారాన్ని అం దించేందుకు ముందుకు వచ్చింది. నాలుగైదు సంవత్సరాలుగా వడగండ్లవానకు నష్టపోయిన రైతులకు ఇప్పటి వ ర కు పరిహారమివ్వలేదు. 2013 రబీలో ఏప్రిల్‌లో కురిసిన వ డగండ్ల వానకు జిల్లాలోని 14 మండలాల్లో పంటలకు నష్టం వాటిల్లినట్లు ఆ ఇన్సూరెన్స్ కంపెనీ గుర్తించింది. వాతావరణ స్థితిగతులను గుర్తించేందుకు వాతావరణ బీమా శాఖ రాష్ట్ర వ్యాప్తంగా అన్ని సబ్‌స్టేషన్లలో వాతావరణాన్ని లెక్కించే యంత్రాలను ఏర్పాటు చేసింది.

వాటి ఆధారంగానే వడగండ్లను, వాతావరణాన్ని లెక్కించారు. దీంతో ఆయా మండలాల్లోని రైతులకు పరిహారమిచ్చేందుకు అగ్రికల్చర్ బీమా కంపెనీ ముందుకు వచ్చింది. జిల్లా వ్యాప్తంగా 1357 మంది వరి రైతులకు రూ. కోటి 24 లక్షల రూపాయల పరిహారాన్ని మంజూరు చేసింది. అందులో భాగంగా బుధవారం బ్యాం కు ఖాతాలు లేని బచ్చన్నపేట మండలానికి చెందిన 240, ధర్మసాగర్‌కు చెందిన ఒకరికి, పరకాలకు చెందిన ముగ్గురు రైతులకు రూ. 19లక్షల 65వేల రూపాయలను పరిహార చె క్‌లను లబ్ధిదారులకు కలెక్టర్ కిషన్ నేరుగా అందజేశారు.

14 మండలాలు, 1357 మంది రైతులు..
జిల్లాలో 14 మండలాలు వడగండ్లవానకు గురైనట్లుగా గుర్తించారు. అందులో బచ్చన్నపేట, దే వరుప్పుల, స్టేషన్‌ఘనపూర్, హసన్‌పర్తి, జనగామ, మద్దూరు, మహబూబాబాద్, మంగపేట, మరిపెడ, మొగుళ్లప ల్లి, పర్వతగిరి, రఘునాథ్‌పల్లి, రాయప ర్తి, తాడ్వాయి, జపఫర్‌గడ్ మండలాల లు ఉన్నాయి. పరహారాన్ని పూర్తిగా వరి రైతులకే అందిస్తున్నట్లు అగ్రికల్చర్ ఇ న్సూరెన్స్ కంపెనీ డీజీఓం నాగార్జున టీమీడియాకు తెలిపారు. బ్యాంకు ఖాతాలు తీసుకున్న రైతుల కు పరిహారాన్ని నేరుగా ఖాతాల్లోనే జమ చేస్తున్నట్లు స్పష్టం చేశారు. కార్యక్రమంలో వ్యవసాయ శాఖ జాయింట్ డైరెక్టర్ రామారావు, అ గ్రికల్చరల్ ఇన్సూరెన్స్ ఆఫ్ ఇండియా అధికారులు, రైతులు, తదితరులు పాల్గొన్నారు


FCI ties up with IICPT to ascertain paddy OTR in Odisha, other 10 states

New Delhi: Food Corporation of India (FCI) will work in collaboration with Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT), Thanjavur to ascertain the outturn ratio (OTR) of paddy.

 The study will be conducted in 11 paddy-producing states across the country, FCI Chairman and Managing Director, Mr C Viswanath, said today after the PSU signed a memorandum of understanding with IICPT — an educational research and development institution founded in 1967.
FCI has initiated the study on behalf of Government of India, based on requests received from various states for fresh trial milling and fixation of Uniform OTR.
“The objective of the study,” Mr Viswanath revealed, “is to determine the OTR and to ascertain the milling yield of rice from paddy and the quality of milled rice obtained in different agro climatic zones in the states.” The states are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Kerala.
The MoU was signed at the FCI headquarters in the national capital on Monday by FCI Executive Director (Quality Control) Seema Kakar and Dr. K. Singaravadivel, Principal Scientist, IICPT, in the presence of by Mr Viswanath and IICPT Director Dr. K. Alagusundaram.
The study aims to attend to the long-pending demand of the rice milling industry as well as the state governments to re-fix the OTR, keeping in view the introduction of new varieties of paddy in country as well as advancements in rice milling technologies



Paddy farmers in Erode expect bumper harvest

They used System of Rice Intensification method

For enhanced productivity:Farmers in Erode district have patronised System of Rice Intensification method of paddy cultivation on a large scale.- PHOTO: M.GOVARTHAN

For enhanced productivity:Farmers in Erode district have patronised System of Rice Intensification method of paddy cultivation on a large scale.- PHOTO: M.GOVARTHAN

Thanks to adoption of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method of paddy cultivation, 70 per cent of farmers are looking forward to reaping a bumper harvest.

According to Agriculture Department officials, the harvest in is progress and the yield is in the range of 15,000 kg per hectare.

Incidentally, a farmer of Nasiyanur in Erode district N. Parameswaran received an award from the Chief Minister during the Republic Day for achieving highest agricultural productivity during 2012-13, adopting SRI method.


For having produced 6,119 kg paddy per acre, Mr. Parameswaran received the award that included Rs. 5 lakh in cash and a medal worth Rs. 3,500.

According to official sources, the productivity this year was bound to be more since the fields that had been cultivated after a gap of a year would have enhanced fertility. During 2012-13, a majority of farmers chose not to cultivate due to water inadequacy. This year, there was adequate water supply from the Bhavani Sagar Dam.

Also the monsoons did not cause extreme conditions, and there was no pest problem.

Since the success of SRI method has been proved, there would be more farmers switching over for higher productivity, there will be higher patronage, a senior official said.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Department has sown ADT 38 paddy in 20 acres in the Government Seed Farm at Bhavani for distribution to farmers for the next season of paddy cultivation under SRI method.

Courtesy :


Paddy harvest on 50,000 acres in Cuddalore district affected

   Samba paddy crop in over 50,000 acres in Cuddalore district has not been harvested yet owing to acute shortage of labourers and non-availability of harvest machines.

Crops that are otherwise ready for harvest well before Pongal festival are now withering in fields and if action is not taken on a war-footing, it would inflict heavy losses, say farmers. Paddy ought to be harvested within 15 days of maturity and if left exposed to the elements in the farms hulling would become difficult as the grains would fall off the stalks, resulting in much lower yield.

Paddy crops withering in a field at Kattumannarkoil.

Vice-president of the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Association K.V. Kannan told The Hindu that it was impossible to find labourers to harvest ripe paddy crop. Harvesting ought to be done within the next 10 days and it would require either 10,000 labourers or 700 harvest machines.

But, it was a tall order to mobilise such a massive workforce and harvest machines in such as short a period. Mr Kannan pointed out that paddy crops on three lakh acres in the tail end delta region, including Chidambaram, Kattumannarkoil and Bhuvanagiri, attained maturity at the same time because of direct sowing and transplantation practices.

In such a situation there was hardly any scope for spacing out the harvest. Mr Kannan noted that in earlier days, village artisans, including carpenters and ironsmiths, would join farm hands in harvesting paddy. Then they were paid in kind at the rate of seven ‘marakkal’ (a measure) for every man and five ‘marakkal’ for every woman for a day’s work.

Those days, paddy was precious for labourers who used to store grain at their house with utmost care. But, in the past 10 years, when distribution of either subsidised or free rice through Public Distribution System had come into vogue, paddy seemed to have lost its value.

President of Kollidam-Keelanai Paasanana Vivasayigal Sangam P.Vinayagamoorthy, who vouched for such a disturbing trend, said that labourers were being attracted to Tirupur, Chennai and other urban areas for taking up jobs other than agriculture or allied activities. Therefore, labour shortage had begun to put tremendous pressure on farmers and forced them to find recourse to harvest machines. But, on this score too, there was an unbridgeable demand-supply gap.

Mr Vinayagamoorthy said that there were two types of harvest machines - track-chain type that could function with ease even in wet fields, and wheel type that could be comfortable only in dry farms. Agricultural Engineering Department in Cuddalore could boast of having only two such machines (one in each category) but even these too were either sent elsewhere or under disrepair.

Mr Kannan noted that as against the requirement of 700 harvest machines, only about 300 (both government and private-owned machines put together) were available in the district. Therefore, Mr. Kannan and Mr. Vinayagamoorthy said that since paddy harvest did not brook any delay, authorities should mobilise as many harvest machines as possible to help the farmers.



CM’s special award for Erode farmer

He reaped 6,119 kg of paddy per acre by adopting SRI cultivation method

An Erode-based farmer, who received the Chief Minister’s special award for accomplishing the highest yield in the State, made a strong case against converting traditional irrigation canals into concrete structures.

“Lining of the canals will prevent groundwater from getting replenished. Concrete bunds also block seepage of water into fields. Had seepage of water been allowed, one could achieve higher yield,” said N. Parameswaran, who received the award from Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the presence of Governor K. Rosaiah on the Marina here as part of the Republic Day celebration.

The award included Rs. 5 lakh in cash and a medal worth Rs. 3,500.

Mr. Parameswaran, from Nasiyanur in Erode district, produced 6,119 kg of paddy per acre by adopting the system of rice intensification cultivation method (SRI). He used BPT-5204 paddy seeds, known as ‘samba masuri,’ from the Erode block agricultural extension centre.

“There was no adequate rain in 2012-2013 and both Cauvery and its tributary Bhavani dried up. I used the seepage of the drinking water released from the Lower Bhavani three times and water from wells,” he said, while acknowledging the help rendered by his mother N. Rukmani and wife P. Umadevi.

He planted 14 day-old paddy and maintained a gap of 23 cm between each plant. Weeding was done four times and the harvest was made after 130 days. He sold the yield to the Agriculture department for storage of seeds.

Mr. Parameswaran said the price fixed for paddy was not adequate as the cost of input and labour had increased.

The Chief Minister also presented Anna medal for Gallantry to six persons, Gandhi Adigal Police medal to policemen who had done outstanding work to curtail illicit liquor and Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony award to A.R. Basheer Ahamed from Coimbatore.

Earlier, the Governor hoisted the National Flag and took the salute of the three armed forces and other security agencies.

The celebrations were marked by the presentation of traditional cultural programmes of school and college students. Floats displaying achievements of various government departments were part of the customary procession taken out on the occasion.

Awards to eight others

Ms. Jayalalithaa distributed awards to eight persons who have made great contributions to the respective fields. She presented the Periyar Award to Sulochana Sampath; Anna award – Panruti S. Ramachandran; Thiru-Vi-Ka award - writer Ashokamitran; Ambedkar award - Bishop M. Prakash; Kamaraj award - Ayyaru Vandaiyar; Bharathiyar award - K. Gnanasambandan; Bharathidasan award - Radha Chellappan and K.A.P. Viswanatham Award - V. Jayadevan. Each award carried Rs 1 lakh cash, a gold medal and a citation.

Mr. Ashokamitran said he was happy to receive the award named after Thiru-Vi-Ka who, he said, was one of the pioneers of the modern Tamil prose.



Demonstration on paddy crop cutting machine held

Kuduregundi:dec 17, DHNS:
Agriculture Assistant Director Omkarappa said that farmers will have to invariably go for machinisation of farming at this juncture of time when finding agriculture labourers is becoming difficult.
Farmers trying their hands on the paddy crop cutting machine at Kuduregundi village in N R Pura by Agriculture Department. DH Photo
Farmers trying their hands on the paddy crop cutting machine at Kuduregundi village in N R Pura by Agriculture Department. DH Photo

Addressing the gathering at demonstration of paddy crop cutting machine at Kuduregundi village recently he said that farmers are facing loss due to the decline in quantity of yield and because the cost of production has increased.

“Farmers and farm workers are facing lots of problems and it is due to these problems that farmers are resorting to suicide,” he said and added that one cutting machine can replace or perform the work of 35 manual workers. The yield too can go up by 25 per cent.

He said that in this proportion, there is a total land area of 15,000 hectare where paddy is grown and if this machine is used for farming them the yield can fetch about Rs 10 crore income for the taluk alone.Taluk Panchayat Member K N Shivadas inaugurated the programme by cutting the paddy crops using cutting machine. Programme was presided over by Sithur GP President Y S Ganesh.

Taluk Panchayat Member Sumathi Achar inaugurated the exhibition. Farmers Chandrashekar, Ramadas among others expressed their experience and opinion
Courtesy :


நெல் பயிரில் மஞ்சள் கலந்த ஆரஞ்சு நிற இலையா...?

 தமிழகத்தில் பயிரிடப்படும் உணவுப் பயிர்களில் நெல் பயிர் பிரதானமாக உள்ளது. திருநெல்வேலி, தூத்துக்குடி மாவட்டங்களில் பிசானப் பருவத்தில் பரவலாக நெல் பயிரிடப்பட்டுள்ளது. திருநெல்வேலி மாவட்டத்தில் மட்டும் பிசானப் பருவத்தில் 60 ஆயிரம் ஹெக்டேர் பரப்பில் நெல் சாகுபடிக்கு இலக்கு நிர்ணயிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

ஆரஞ்சு நிற தோன்றல்: இரு மாவட்டங்களிலும் பயிரிடப்பட்டுள்ள நெல் பயிர்களில் மஞ்சள் கலந்த ஆரஞ்சு நிற தோன்றல் காணப்படுகிறது. இந்த நிறமானது அடி இலைகளில் தொடங்கி மேற்புரம் வரையில் பரவி காணப்படும்.
அறிகுறிகள்: முதலில் அடி இலைகள் வெளிறிய மஞ்சள் நிறத்துடன் காணப்படும். பின்னர், இந்த அறிகுறிகள் மேல் இலைகள் வரைக்கும் படிப்படியாக பரவும். மஞ்சள் நிற அறிகுறிகளுக்கான காரணங்களை சரிசெய்யாமல் இருந்தால் பின்னர் ஆரஞ்சு நிறமாக மாறி இலையின் நுனி திசுக்கள் இறந்து காய்ந்து சருகுகளாக மாறும். இவ்வாறு நெல்லின் அடி இலையில் இருந்து நுனி இலை வரை காய்ந்து விடும். காயந்த இலைகளின் பயிர்களில் ஓரினச்சேர்க்கை நடைபெற முடியாது. இதனால், மகசூல் குறையும். மேலும், பாதிக்கப்பட்ட நெல் பயிர்களில் பக்க சிம்புகள் உருவாகாமல் போகும். விளைச்சல் வெகுவாகப் பாதிக்கப்படும்.
காரணங்கள்: நெல்லில் மஞ்சள் கலந்த ஆரஞ்சு நிற இலை தோன்றுவதற்கு முக்கியமாக 2 காணரங்கள் உள்ளன. மண்ணில் சாம்பல் சத்து பற்றாக்குறை, மண்ணில் அகி இரும்பு சத்துகளின் கிடைக்கையால் இந்த பாதிப்பு ஏற்படுவதாக ஆராய்ச்சி மூலம் தெரியவந்துள்ளது. இந்த பாதிப்பானது வயல் முழுவதும் ஓரத்தில் இருந்து நடு வயல் வரையிலும் காணபட்டால் சாம்பல் சத்து பற்றாக்குறையால் உருவானது எனக் கண்டறியலாம். வயலின் நடுப்பகுதியில் மட்டும் பாதிப்பு இருந்தால் இரும்பு சத்து அதிகம் இருப்பதாகக் கண்டறியலாம். பயிரில் தேவைக்கு அதிகமாக உரங்களை இடுவதாலும், சமச்சீரற்ற ஊட்டச்சத்துகளை அளிப்பதாலும் இத்தகைய பாதிப்புகள் ஏற்படுகின்றன. மேலும், நிலங்களை காயவிடாமல் நீர்ப்பாய்ச்சுவதாலும் பாதிப்பு ஏற்படுகிறது. திருந்திய நெல் சாகுபடி முறையை விட சாதாரண முறையில் சாகுபடி செய்யப்பட்ட நெல் பயிரில் இத்தகைய பாதிப்பு அதிகமாகக் காணப்படுகிறது.
தடுக்கும் முறைகள்: இந்த பாதிப்பைக் கட்டுப்படுத்த சாம்பல் சத்தை சற்று கூடுதலாக இட வேண்டும். ஒரு ஹெக்டேர் நெல் பயிருக்கு பரிந்துரைக்கப்ட்ட 60 கிலோ சாம்பல் சத்துடன் கூடுதலாக 30 கிலோவையும் சேர்த்து பயிரின் வளர்ச்சி பருவத்துக்கு தகுந்தபடி பிரித்து இட வேண்டும். மண் பரிசோதனை செய்து அதற்கு தகுந்தபடியும் உரமிடலாம். மேலும், காய்ச்சல் பாய்ச்சல் முறையில் நீர் மேலாண்மையைக் கையாளுவதன் மூலமும் பாதிப்பைத் தவிர்க்கலாம். வளர்ச்சியடைந்த நெல்லில் பாதிப்பு வராமல் தடுக்க 2 சத டிஏபி, ஒரு சத யூரியா, ஒரு சத பொட்டாஷ் ஆகியவற்றை 15 நாள்களுக்கு ஒரு முறை கைத் தெளிப்பான் மூலம் பாதிக்கப்பட்ட பயிர்களில் முழுமையாக நனையும் வகையில் தெளிக்க வேண்டும்.
திருநெல்வேலி, தூத்துக்குடி மாவட்டத்தைச் சேர்ந்த விவசாயிகள் இந்த தொழில்நுட்ப முறைகளை தவறாமல் பின்பற்றி மகசூல் இழப்பைக் கட்டுப்படுத்தலாம் என தமிழ்நாடு வேளாண்மைப் பல்கலைக் கழக நெல் ஆராய்ச்சி நிலைய மண்ணியல் பேராசிரியர் சு. ஜோதிமணி தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

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Drum seeder’ to help farmers

DATT centre popularising the device in view of severe shortage of labour
Technology at work:Agricultural scientist R Uma Reddy demonstrating the working of the drum seeder to farmers at a meeting in Warangal on Friday.– Photo: M. MURALI

A simple axle with two wheels and drums attached to you around in between to store and drop seeds known as called ‘drum seeder’ is becoming popular among the farmers in the district.

In view of sever shortage of labour, it is being popularised by the District Agricultural Technology and Transfer (DATT) centre.

Director of the centre, R Uma Reddy told The Hindu that it would help lot with regard to the labour component to paddy farmers. It also helps save the seed. “A farmer requires 30kg paddy per acre with manual labour. By using drum seeder, farmer just needs 12 kg,” he explained.

In conventional method of sowing paddy, a farmer needs to engage 10 to 12 labour per acre of sowing whereas, three people can sow 2.5 acres a day using the drum seeder.

Cost effective
Mr R Uma Reddy said it would cost Rs 5,000 but it was being given to farmers at Rs 2,500 under 50 per cent subsidy scheme. Since the seeds are dropped at regular interval and at correct space, it also helps avoid weed problem in the field. “The beauty of the drum seeder is that it is easy to maintain and no power or other costs involved in it,” he said. The all other parameters, like varieties, fertilisers and water management remain same both in manual transplanting and Drum seeder planting.

Picking up

Because of efforts by DAATT Centre, in the district this technology is slowly picking up and now in every mandal at least 300-400 acres paddy is under drum seeder planting. This suits very well the small and marginal farmers and addresses labour issue in paddy crop, he added.



India West Bengal State Lacks Funds to Procure Paddy Rice; Bihar State Announces Bonus on MSP of Paddy Rice


  Jan 24, 2014

India’s eastern state of West Bengal is planning to use private rice millers to procure paddy rice from farmers due to lack of funds with the government to procure paddy rice directly.

Rice production in West BengaI was estimated to fall to around 13 million tons this year due to adverse weather conditions, but the state produced around 15.3 million tons. Meanwhile, government officials say that paddy rice procurement by government agencies stands at around 88,058 tons, which is just about 7% of the targeted 1.3 million tons. The government has also discontinued the Rs. 70 per quintal (about $11 per ton) bonus on paddy support price in 2012 due to lack of funds.

Higher production and lower procurement have led to decline in paddy rice prices. Local sources say that farmers are forced to sell their paddy rice at around Rs. 1,280 per quintal (about $ 207 per ton) to private traders, which is down about 3% from the minimum government support price (MSP) of Rs. 1,310 per quintal (about $212 per ton). The West Bengal government says that early procurement of levy rice by millers will strengthen paddy prices and encourage farmers to re-invest in the boro season rice crop which begins in January-end.

However, local sources say that the move by the government is to appease farmers ahead of general elections in April – May 2014. Moreover, there are concerns that rice prices may increase in the state if farmers sell their paddy rice in the neighboring state of Bihar, where the state government has announced a bonus of Rs. 250 per quintal (about $40 per ton).

The West Bengal government usually procures levy rice from millers after March, but wants to complete levy rice procurement before March this year. Under the levy rice policy, millers procure rice from farmers at MSP and government buys the rice from millers later for its welfare programs.

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J’khand: To harvest paddy or not,that’s farmers’ dilemma

Ashok Oraon has not tilled three of his 4.5 acre land — not far from Patki village in Senha block — that had always yielded rice for him and his family’s survival for almost six months a year since childhood. For the second consecutive year,the monsoon,on which farming here is heavily dependent,has played a cruel joke on him,his wife and five children.

Like last year,this time too short bursts of rain were followed by long dry spells,and just when they began to think of an alternative,a fresh spell of drizzle rekindled their hope,prompting them to sow paddy in a patch of land some time in July.

Now with the sowing time over and little rain in Patki,their paddy crops look yellow. They are actually stubble — barely two feet long — unfit even for fodder,according to Oraon. “Still we have to harvest them because otherwise they will take roots and spoil the fertility of the soil,” cribs Jatin,Oraon’s son,who studies in Class VII.

The farmers’ story across the state is largely the same,with all 24 districts having been declared drought-hit.

In the adjacent Sisai village in Gumla district,two other Oraons do not have much to do apart from airing their despair due to the unprecedented drought. One has left his entire field barren and the other seems to be better off with paddy sprouting in his low-lying land,thanks to its location near the riverbed with lift irrigation installed with subsidies from the government.

But acres and acres of tanr (up land) that were used to grow paddy crop look parched. “The wild plants that have come up are going to create an additional problem. We have to remove them before we use it for sowing a fresh crop. We are ruined,” says Naresh Manjhi,cursing the rain god for depriving him of an opportunity to plough his fields this monsoon.

Two years ago,the low-lying area of Ranchi district was concerned with water logging. Drainage of water,and not irrigation,was the main concern. The dry spells in the past two years have left the villagers bewildered. They had never felt the need of irrigation,but this time it is the deficit in rain that has left them down.

In Ranchi,three dams — Gonda,Rukka and Dhurva — that supplied water to its residents have less than 30 per cent of their total capacity. A report prepared by the public health department states that Gonda,Rukka and Dhurva had less than 17,21 and 20 million cubic metres against their capacity of 2126,1980 and 2198 million cubic metres of water respectively.

So,what’s the government doing under President’s Rule? With Governor MOH Farook keeping a close eye on the situation,the state government has undertaken measures like:

n The disaster management department has allocated Rs 4.37 crore for purchasing 4567 MT rice,to be given to the panchayats.

n A ‘control room’ manned by the government staff has been set up at every block and its telephone number made public so that any person is in need  can get in touch for help.

n To meet with the water shortage,10 deep well boring have been planned to be dug in each of the over 4,500 panchayats in the state.

“We will leave no stone unturned to provide relief to all those who need it,” says Chief Secretary A K Singh. The state government has sought Rs 5,000 crore assistance from the Centre to start its relief operation. In response,a central team headed by the National Horticulture Mission Director Vijay Kumar visited some affected villages. “The scene is alarming as we have noted that an average 30-35 per cent seeds could be sown due to weak monsoon in the state. The rainfall has been 45-50 per cent below normal so far,” said a member of the team on condition of anonymity.
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