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Khekiho’s drought plea to centre
Published on 21 Jul. 2009 1:14 AM IST
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Reiterating state government’s deceleration on drought-like situation in Nagaland, the lone Nagaland Rajya Sabha MP Khekiho Zhimomi has urged the Union government to come to the rescue of Nagaland and its people affected by the natural calamity. During the discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, the MP said the unprecedented drought situation has adversely affected paddy transplantation as well as jhum cultivation, which entirely depended on seasonal rains. Pointing out that current monsoon season has recorded the lowest ever rainfall in Nagaland, Khekiho said the horticulture crops have also failed to flower with reports of unusual pest and insect infestation. “As in the other parts of the country, Nagaland is also facing a very high monsoon deficit,” the MP said, adding that against an average rainfall of 750.50 mm, normally received during the period from January to July 15, this year the state received only 471.18 mm of rainfall, indicating a deficit of 278.32 mm (37.10%). This has already affected 25 % of jhum cultivation and 50% of wetland cultivation. He also highlighted that normal life in the state has been severely affected, with more and more people afflicted with drought related ailments. “Many people have lost their livelihood because agricultural activities have come to a stand still,” the Rajya Sabha MP from Nagaland disclosed. Informing the house that crops have failed, Khekiho said possible famine was looming over the state. Underlining that situation was alarming, the MP said intervention of the central government was absolutely necessary for providing relief and rehabilitation to affected populace. He suggested that short term measures for providing relief and long term measures like irrigation facilities, bore well and the like need to be given top priority to prevent such situation in future. Meanwhile, admitting that this year is not going to be good for the farm sector, the government today said it will provide more money to states to deal with the situation arising out of deficient monsoon. “This year is not good for the farmers...The Centre will help state governments to take steps to help farmers,” Union Minister for Food and Agriculture Sharad Pawar said winding up the discussion on Demands for Grants for his ministries in the Lok Sabha, which were later approved by voice-vote. (inputs from PTI)

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