Congress MLAs raise deficit rainfall issue in Assembly


New Delhi: With Odisha receiving deficit rainfall during the ongoing monsoon, Opposition Congress MLAs on Friday expressed concern over the situation and claimed that a farmer committed suicide in Bolangir district due to crop loss.

The issue was raised by Santosh Singh Saluja, a Congress member from Kantabanji in Bolangir district in the Assembly.

“The state has recorded a deficit rainfall of 26.23 per cent this time,” he said.

While the normal rainfall in the state was 393.3 mm by July 17, only 290.1 mm precipitation had been recorded, which was deficit of 26.23 per cent, Saluja claimed.

While expressing concern over the consequences of the deficit rainfall in the state, Saluja said one Bhaktabandhu Dandsena of Bolangir Sadar block committed suicide this week by consuming poison for crop loss due to drought like situation.

Dandsena did not received any crop insurance for last two years and was also not covered under the state government’s Kalia scheme, the Kantabanji MLA claimed.

Saluja said the farmers and affected persons should be provided assistance as per the provision of the Odisha Relief Code for calamities.

Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra also criticised the state government for delaying action to face the situation arising out of the deficit rainfall. He challenged the state government’s claim that 33 per cent of the cultivable land in Bolangir district has assured irrigation.

“Let a House Committee be formed to see who is telling the truth. We claim that only 3 per cent of Bolangir is irrigated while Odisha government’s claim was 33 per cent,” Mishra said, adding that the government should also assist the family of Dandsena who committed suicide due to crop loss.

Keeping in view the concern expressed by members, Speaker S N Patro in a ruling directed the Revenue and Disaster Management minister Sudam Marndi to give a statement on the deficit rainfall situation in the state within two days.

On Thursday, ruling BJD member Ananta Das from Bhograi had also claimed that coastal Balasore district also faced the threat of a drought due to deficit rainfall.

Apart from Koraput district, all the 29 districts in the state have received deficit rainfall. Five districts – Gajapati, Bolangir, Balasore, Rayagada and Kandhamal – have recorded above 40 per cent deficit rainfall.

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