Opposition Telugu Desam Party today requested the Centre to obtain a report from the Andhra Pradesh Government on the prevailing drought situation in the state so that required relief could be extended to aggrieved farmers.
In a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu said 380 out of 1,128 mandals
(tehsils) in the state were facing drought conditions due to shortfall of rain up to 50 per cent. Another 15 mandals had a rain deficit of over 60 per cent this monsoon.
He said irrigation projects and reservoirs did not receive sufficient water inflows due to deficient rainfall. Consequently, the crop-bearing area fell drastically.
"Paddy has been cultivated in 53 lakh acres as against the normal area of 66 lakh acres this kharif season, while cropped area under pulses was only 15 lakh acres (21 lakh acres normal). Groundnut crop was sown in 25 lakh acres (32 lakh acres normal) and oil seeds in 33 lakh acres (44 lakh acres) this season due to adverse seasonal conditions."
"The farming community has been badly affected and the state and the Central Governments should come to their the farmers' rescue immediately," the Leader of Opposition said.
The interest subvention announced for farmers in other drought-hit regions of the country should be extended to AP farmers as well along with additional interest subsidy of three per cent, the former Chief Minister demanded.
The Centre has so far not extended any relief to AP farmers as the State Government did not send a report on drought conditions, Naidu maintained.
"I request you to advise the State Government to send the proposals and declare drought in these mandals so that immediate relief can be extended to affected farmers. I also request you to support the farmers by allotting sufficient quantities of fertilisers to AP," he said.
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