Rajasthan Pegs Drought Relief Deal At Rs 6,000cr

Jaipur, July 25: | Updated: Jul 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
Even as the Gehlot government was yet to receive a final report on the drought situation, Rajasthan’s agriculture ministry has sought a relief package of Rs 6,000 crore from the Centre.

State’s agriculture minister, Govind Singh Gujjar put up the demand on Wednesday at the review meeting of the drought hit states called by the central agriculture ministry.

“Out of the 129 lakh hectare cultivable land in the state only 48 lakh hectare could be cultivated this time,” said sources in the state agriculture ministry. Almost half of the crops have been destroyed and farmers apprehend that the rest could go the same way if the state does not see rains by July-end.

The percentage of failure of the kharif crops in the state is estimated to have risen to 80 per cent, as per sources in the state agriculture ministry.

The state has taken up the case of short ripening period of crops. For this, sources said the state government has worked out an assistance of Rs 1.35 crore for castor seeds, Rs 65 lakh for mini-kits of seeds and fertilisers and Rs 50 lakh for deepening of wells and arrangements for optimum utilisation of canal water.

The state witnesses normal rainfall in the range of 133 millimetre, but this time it has been limited to 65 millimetre.

This time, the state government would also have to provide for the 23 lakh below poverty line (BPL) families.