Lucknow: After passing through the threat of drought like situation in various regions of Uttar Pradesh in the past fortnight, the situation has changed drastically in the last week when heavy and widespread rains have given a sigh of relief to the farmers for sowing their paddy and other Kharif crops.
Widespread Rains Give Sigh Of Relief To UP Farmers: 106 Killed In Rain Havoc
However,due to rains and related incidents, more than 106 people have lost their lives and around 150 people got injured in the state while 1141 houses have been damaged, Official sources here on Wednesday.
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered the district authorities to provide Rs 4 lakh as compensation to the families of the deceased immediately and financial assistance to repair the damaged houses.
Meanwhile, the heavy rains in the eastern, central and Bundelkhand region during the past one week has ended the drought like situation.
Officials of the state Agriculture department said that dry weather had delayed the sowing of paddy crop and forced the state government to work on a contingency plan like asking farmers to go for low water-intensive Kharif crops like pulses and millets.
Sources said that Kharif sowing, including paddy and pulses, was reported to be 17 per cent less last week as compared to a last year, with a rain deficit in two-thirds of the state. However, the recent wet spell has reduced this gap. UP's total sowing last year was 16.6 million hectares, of which Kharif crops accounted for 9.4 million hectares, including six million hectares of paddy.
As per Agriculture department, the state now has about 7.5 million hectares of aggregate Kharif sowing, of which paddy accounts for 5.2 million hectares amounting to 80 per cent of targeted Kharif sowing. The aggregate area under different Kharif crops stands at about 5.85 million hectares (MH) as compared to 6.89 MH last year, thus reporting a fall of 1.04 MH or more than 17 per cent. In fact, the acreage is down further, if pegged to normal acreage figures.
"We are confident of achieving the Kharif sowing target for the current season in the first week of August," said Agricultural Director (Statistics and Crop insurance) Vinod Kumar Singh.
The weather office has forecast heavy rains in the next 24 hours in major parts of UP, especially eastern region. Despite the recent wet spell, 37 of the state's 75 districts are still categorised as rain-deficient.
Director of Meteorological office JP Gupta said that overall monsoon would be normal in UP this year, with current spells of heavy rain likely to last another two days.
So far, sowing of paddy, pulses, coarse cereals and oilseed crops has been lower than normal. Planting of sugarcane, however, is higher than last year by 2,88,000 hectares, as the cash crop is normally sowed before the monsoon.
Weeks ago, alarmed over the dry spell, the government directed officials to prepare a contingency plan for dealing with a probable drought like situation. Agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi had asked officials to encourage farmers to sow millets and other less water-intensive crops. UNI