Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh Monday said that the State Government has formed a high power state level committee to look into the problems being faced by farmers due to scanty rainfall in the state this monsoon season.
Experiencing a 34 per cent deficit in average rainfall in the state and weather forecast indicating a dry spell for another three months, Manipur is bracing for a drought-like situation. As a result, crop failure is looming large in the state. “There is no need to panic as the government has taken up preventive measures. We have asked the concerned departments to start river lift irrigation”, the chief minister said.
The chief minister referring to various affected parts in the state said that water is being released in the canals of Thoubal Dam. The water will provide relief to farmers in the area of Kumbi village in Bishnupur district and parts of Thoubal district. “Necessary procedures had also already begun to acquire more water pump sets under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) as well”, he added.
Singh informed that the Minor Irrigation department had started taking up steps to augment irrigation networks to dry paddy fields in 51 identified places of various districts. In this regard, the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) will provide water pipes to the Minor Irrigation Department, he said while adding that water pump sets would be provided at the places inspected and identified by a team of officials.
The Chief Minister urged farmers to inform the CMO or the concerned departments if they needed any help.
According to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Manipur, the state by the end of September had received 1,181 mm of rainfall against the annual average which is 1,600 mm. “Plentiful rain at this stage is vital for the good production of rice as it is the flowering season of paddy. The impact would be immense if there is no rainfall in the coming days”, said IM Singh, Agro Meteorologist of ICAR.