Patna, Sep 26: A central team will visit drought-hit Bihar Oct 3 to assess the situation, state government officials said Thursday, adding that after the assessment the quantum of relief would be decided.
“A central team will visit the drought-hit districts of the state to assess the situation, including the quantum of crops lost, and submit a report to the union government,” an official of state disaster management department said.
On the basis of the central team’s report, the central government would provide relief from different ministries, including agriculture, to millions of drought-hit farmers, the official said.
An official in the Chief Minister’s Office said six to eight experts in three teams will visit the state to assess the situation in the first week of October.
“The central team will meet top government officials, those at the district level, as well as farmers and common people during the visit,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Bihar government officials are busy giving final touches to a proposal for central assistance, which they hope to send before the central inspection team arrives in the state.
Last week, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, during a visit to Delhi, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, and requested them to send a central team to assess the damage caused by drought. He also sought Rs.12,000 crore relief from the central government.
Bihar last week declared that 33 of its 38 districts were drought-hit on account of poor rains this monsoon.
The state recorded 25 percent deficit in its annual rainfall.
According to an agriculture department report, Bihar received 668.6 mm rain against the average of 892.2 mm during the June 1 to Sep 11 period, resulting in a lowered water table in Aurangabad, Nawada and Nalanda districts.
Nitish Kumar said that though 88 percent of paddy plantation target has been met in the state, transplanted saplings were dying in the absence of rain.