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Odisha Drought Update- Aug 11- 18, 2009

No 2
Aug 11-18, 2009
Odisha Drought Update
A Civil Society Initiative on behalf of
Odisha Water Forum &
Odisha State Center, Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India

This initiative is an attempt to provide periodical updates on Drought PAST ISSUES
Situations and related events/news with respect to Drought in Odisha.
1. Drought Update 1
News from Odia and English (Bhubaneswar internet editions) news papers
are put together at one place to provide an appreciation of Drought in We also bring in
Flood Updates; For
Orissa periodically.
past Issues, please
follow the links
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This Drought Update is being circulated among media, decision makers –
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legislatures, bureaucrats etc. with an aim to catalyze informed and 3. Flood Update 3
expeditious decisions and actions. 4. Flood updates 4
We request to all recipients and their civil society contacts/friends to
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kindly mail (baitarani@gmail.com) /phone (Subhendu: 9937577428/0674- 7. Flood update7
6450323) us such events/developments related to Drought in your areas for 8. Flood update 8
adding value and meaning to this Civil Society Initiative. 9. Flood update 9
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Needless to say that all such news will be acknowledged with source 11. Flood update 11
12. Flood update 12
13. Flood update 13
14. Flood Alert 14

CONTENTS
1.News (Headlines) from Odisha Media during Aug 11-18 2009................................2
a.Drought Situation in the State.......................................................................................................2
b.Drought Affected Areas...............................................................................................................2
c.Impact on Agriculture.................................................................................................................2
d.Impact on Economy...................................................................................................................2
e.Response of the State/Central Govt................................................................................................2
2.Selected News from Local English Media (11-18 Aug)......................................... .3
a.Drought set to dampen Nuakhai ....................................................................................................3
b.I-Day/Orissa: Govt ready to tackle drought : CM.................................................................................3
c.Drought threat rises as rain forecast worsens.....................................................................................3
d.Erratic rains affect kharif crops ....................................................................................................4
e.Govt braces up for drought .........................................................................................................4
f.Swarming caterpillars leave farmers devastated ................................................................................5
g.BJP rally seeks CBI probe into mining scam.......................................................................................5
h.Erratic rainfall compels Govt to extend insurance scheme deadline
..............................................................................................................................................6
i.Drought fears in Mayurbhanj ........................................................................................................6

- Compiled by
Pranab R Choudhury, Subhendu Acharya & Priyabrata Satapathy
Odisha State Center, Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India & Odisha Water Forum
Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India
baitarani@gmail.com

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Odisha Drought Update- Aug 11- 18, 2009

1.News (Headlines) from Odisha Media during Aug 11-18 2009
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a. Drought Situation in the State
o Drought like situation: Daspalla farmers fear of agriculture loss (The Khabar- 12/08/09)
o Agriculture land cracked; Drought like situation in Boden area ( The Khabar- 12/08/09)
o Kharif Activity lagging behind; drought like situation looming ( The Pragatibadi -18/08/09)
o Drought at door step, State Govt yet to act ( The Sambad-15/08/09)
o Chances of more rain are less ( The Dharitri-17/08/09)
o Deficiency in monsoon now official ( The Indian Express- 14/08/09)

b. Drought Affected Areas
o Former MLA demands Kuchinda to be declared as drought affected ( The Pragatibadi-11/08/09)
o Again nature’s furry; shadow of drought in Sambalpur ( The Samaj-12/08/09)
o Drought feared in Nuapada district (The Dharitri-13/08/09)
o Drought affects Deogarh District; District Admin yet to act ( The Khabar- 13/08/09)
o Drought like situation in 26 Panchayats of Ghatagaon block due to less rain ( The Khabar –
18/08/09)

c. Impact on Agriculture
o No water for agriculture work, all depend on canal water ( The Dharitri-13/08/09)
o It’s not a drought situation, it’s a late in agricultural activities ( The Dharitri-18/08/09)
o Drought and borer (paddy-stem borer) attack push thousands farmers’ life into danger ( The
Dharitri- 17/09/09)
o Defunct lift irrigation points along with less rain add to drought worry (The Khabar-18-08/09)
o Paddy-stem borer becomes the curse adding to drought ( The Dharitri- 17/08/09)
o Less rain brings a stop to agriculture activities ( The Pragatibadi- 11/08/09)

d. Impact on Economy
o Less rain induced conditions are serious: Union Finance Minister ( The Khabar-12/08/09)
o Less rain has pushed 161 districts into drought bracket; Union Finance Minister ( The Dharitri-
13/8/09)

e. Response of the State/Central Govt
o District collectors ordered to report on drought situation within 48 hours ( The Dharitri- 13/8/09)

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The Samaj, The Sambad, The Dharitri, The Pragatibadi, The Khabar & The New Indian Express; all
Bhubaneswar Edition
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Odisha Drought Update- Aug 11- 18, 2009

o President of India expresses her concern about drought situation in country in her Independence
speech ( The Sambad-15/08/09)

2.Selected News from Local English Media (11-18 Aug) 2

a. Drought set to dampen Nuakhai

Express News Service
SAMBALPUR: With Nuakhai, the popular festival of western Orissa, barely a fortnight away, the hectic
activity, noticed much ahead of the festival, is clearly missing with the threat of drought looming large.
During Nuakhai, the agrarian mass festival of Western Orissa, each farmer customarily offers the first grain
of the harvest to the Almighty and then partakes it. But with the monsoon playing truant and the farmers
spending their saving to save their crop, Nuakhai is all set to become a dull affair this time.
With no sight of rain and agricultural land developing cracks, there is no work for the peasants and the
landless. In fact the landless labourers and peasants migrate to distant land in search of greener pasture
after Nuakhai but this year with no work around in villages, many have reportedly migrated.
Although the festival will be celebrated, it will be low key affair and the entire festivity will only be
confined to worshipping and thanking the God in rural areas, said many. Pradeep Patel who has lost his
entire sapling sowed over marginal land holding said that besides pumping in all his saving, he has also
availed loan from private money lender as his last ditch effort to last bid effort to save the crop. Now ,
with hardly any money left he gears up to leave for Hyderabad to work in brick kiln only to return before
the next monsoon praying for good rain.

b. I-Day/Orissa: Govt ready to tackle drought : CM

Press Trust of India
Posted online: Thursday, August 15, 2002 at 1408 hours IST

Bhubaneswar, August 15: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday expressed concern over the
severe drought situation in the state but asserted the government was completely geared to face the
calamity.

"Orissa has been repeatedly facing such natural calamities but the government is committed to work for
the development of the people," Patnaik said in his address after unfurling the tri-colour at an
Independence Day function here.

Patnaik said Orissa was lagging behind other states because of several reasons, including natural calamities
striking the state repeatedly.

Patnaik said his government was determined to provide power to the people at the grassroot level for
which the panchayat organisations were being strengthened.

c. Drought threat rises as rain forecast worsens
TNN 11 August 2009, 01:41am IST
NEW DELHI: Though the government is still chary of pronouncing a full-scale crisis over the errant monsoon
and depleted sowing, prospects of more parts of the country being declared drought-affected are
increasing with the Met department on Monday downgrading its rainfall forecast from 93% of long-term
average to 87%.

This is the first time the Met has revised its forecast in many years. The monsoon has become more erratic

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Bhubaneswar Editions of The Pioneer, The Times of India & The New Indian Express

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Odisha Drought Update- Aug 11- 18, 2009

in the first week of August while only southern Karnataka, Gujarat and Orissa have received rains in excess
of the long-term average between June 1 and August 5.

The monsoon has dried up in the north-west region. Even in the east, it is not doing well with Bihar on
Monday announcing that 26 districts are now in the rain-deprived category.

Just ahead of the weekend, the government indicated there was still a 10-day window for crops in rain
deficient areas but now four have lapsed.

As per current forecasts, the only patches that could see some rain in the next 48 hours are West Bengal,
Bihar, Jharkhand, east Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Some parts of Madhya Pradesh and Vidharba
region of Maharashtra may also receive some rains.

d. Erratic rains affect kharif crops

Express News Service
First Published: 18 Aug 2009 04:54:00 AM IST
Last Updated :

BARIPADA: The fear of drought is looming large in Mayurbhanj with the district receiving inadequate and
uneven rainfall this year.

District agriculture department sources said the district received an average annual rainfall of 69 mm
against the normal of 265 mm during the month of June.In July, the district got 315 mm against the normal
337 mm.

On the other hand, rainfall was erratic in the block level as while Betnoti got an all time low of 105 mm,
Kaptipada received the highest of 580 mm. Almost all the 26 blocks in the district experienced uneven
distribution of rainfall during June and July which has affected the kharif cultivation.
In some parts of the district, de-weeding and transplantation were delayed due to unfavourable weather
conditions, temperature ranging between 23 degree celsius (minimum) and 34 degree Celsius (maximum)
with a relative humidity of 91 per cent, that prevailed for more than a fortnight.
While it was targeted to cultivate paddy in 3,81,300 hectares of land, only 2,31,055 hectares could be
covered.

Similarly in the non-paddy sector, against the target of 1, 20,971 hectares, only 87,468 hectares were
cultivated for non-paddy crops. Meanwhile, the Mayurbhanj unit of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has demanded
the district to be declared as drought-hit.

e. Govt braces up for drought
Source: OTV Bureau
published on : 8/17/2009 9:09:17 PM

Bhubaneswar: Orissa government has initiated measures to tackle a possible drought-like situation arising
due to inconsistent rainfall this monsoon. The state agriculture department has also reviewed the situation
and decided to chalk out a contingent plan to deal with the situation as bulk of the agricultural works in
most parts of the state has been affected due the hide and seek nature of monsoon.
Agriculture secretary Arabinda Padhi on Monday informed that pesticides and farming equipments would be
provided to farmers at 50 percent subsidized rates. Apart from the inconsistent rainfall, leda insects have
added to the worry of the farmers. “Keeping in view the inconsistent rain, we apprehend that our
productivity might get affected. We are aware of the situation and measures have been initiated in this
regard,” Padhi said.

According to Padhi, the kharif production is likely to be affected and hence the government is
contemplating to cover up the food grain target in the next ravi season. Moreover, keeping in view the
short rainfall and leda pest menace, the government has increased time frame of national agricultural
insurance from July 31 to August 31.

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Odisha Drought Update- Aug 11- 18, 2009

The state has received 61 percent less rain in the month of June as there was a delay in the arrival of
monsoon by 15 days. Similarly, there was 73 percent surplus rain in July and the pattern registered a sharp
decline with the state receiving at least 50 percent less rain in August so far.

As per the data of the Orissa University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT) the monsoon is neither active nor
there are any indication of rainfall for the next five days. “The rain distribution has not been equal across
the state for which agricultural works have been affected,” Surendra Nath Pasupalak, an OUAT expert said.
Pasupalak also added that farmers of five districts-Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Nuapada and
Malkangiri are facing problems due to leda pest which is likely to destroy the crops in the respective
regions.

f. Swarming caterpillars leave farmers devastated

Express News Service
First Published : 18 Aug 2009 04:51:00 AM IST
Last Updated :

SAMBALPUR: While the farmers of western Orissa continue to reel under water stressed condition, the
appearance of swarming caterpillars has given farmers sleepless nights.
No sight of rain and humid conditions has compounded the problem with the caterpillars growing in number
and concentration. While paddy fields have developed cracks for want of water, the swarming caterpillars
have devoured the few standing crops .

The situation is similar in both irrigated and non-irrigated areas and the caterpillars have spread their
tentacles over hundreds of hectares of land.
While the farmers are clueless about the ways to check further spread of the caterpillar menace, the
apathy of the Agriculture Department towards the problem has led to widespread resentment among the
farmers.

During the current kharif season, delayed monsoon has upset the whole plan of agriculture. Not only
cultivation process started late, but lack of subsequent rains left a huge cultivable land barren.
The farmers who dared to go ahead are hard-pressed to save their crops in the absence of sufficient
rainfall.

Now the caterpillars have left them completely devastated.

About 50 per cent of the land in Rengali block is in the grip of caterpillar menace while 21 gram panchayats
of worst hit Jamakira block are struggling to contain the pests.
Ironically, the Agriculture Department was ignorant about the problem till Agriculture Secretary UP Singh
visited the district and interacted with the farmers. The belated action by the Agriculture Department is
expected to yield little result for the farmers.
However, in a release the Deputy Director of Agriculture DC Pal urged the farmers not to panic about the
caterpillar attack. He has informed that department is providing pesticide and spray machine at 50 per
cent subsidy to farmers and the materials have been despatched to various blocks.

g. BJP rally seeks CBI probe into mining scam

BHUBANESWAR | Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Pioneer News Service | Balangir
Demanding a CBI inquiry into the multi-crore mining scam and declaration of Balangir district as drought-
hit and protesting against the rise in prices of essential commodities, local BJP activists, led by Patnagarh
MLA and leader of the party in State Assembly KV Singh Deo, Basudev Pati and district BJP president Ajay
Dash, on Monday held a demonstration before the Collectorate.

This was part of the BJP’s all-State protest against the mining scam and price rise. “We submitted a
memorandum to the district administration,” Singh Deo said, speaking to mediapersons after submitting
the memorandum.
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Odisha Drought Update- Aug 11- 18, 2009

“We are not satisfied with the Vigilance inquiry. Even as the Government has admitted that it is a scam of
Rs 110 crore, we believe the scam involves around Rs 4,000 crore and it is a bigger scandal than the Bofors
scam,” Singh Deo said further.

“As Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been heading different portfolios like the forest during the last eight
years, his role is also not above board. We demand an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
into the mining scam that has been continuing since 2001. A CBI inquiry will expose all those involved in, he
said.

District Sub-Collector RK Patnaik assured the BJP delegation to submit a report to the Government on the
prevailing drought situation in the district within a week.

h. Erratic rainfall compels Govt to extend insurance scheme deadline

BHUBANESWAR | Tuesday, August 18, 2009
PNS | Bhubaneswar

The erratic rainfall has badly hit the farmers’ community of the State. Worried over it, the State
Government has extended the cut-off date of the insurance scheme up to August 31.

However, the State Government feels that this year the crop production would be lessened by 15 per cent.
“We are making plan to enhance the crop production during Rabi season,” said Director, Agriculture
Aruobinda Padhi.

Similarly, the worms (Lengada) has turned to be a major concern for the farmers in the districts of
Gajapati, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sundergarh, Samablpur, Nuapada and Malkangiri.

Now, farmers can avail the pesticides and other equipments at a 50 per cent subsidy.

i. Drought fears in Mayurbhanj
TNN 16 August 2009, 11:03pm IST
BARIPADA: Inadequate rainfall and its uneven distribution in Mayurbhanj district have triggered fears of an
imminent drought in the district.

According to sources in the district's agriculture department, Mayurbhanj has received an average annual
average rainfall of 69 mm against its usual share of 265 mm during June this year, while in July, the district
received an average of 315 mm rainfall against its normal precipitation of 337 mm. In the block level,
however, distribution of rainfall has been erratic, with Betnoti recording an all-time low record of 105 mm,
while Kaptipada received 580 mm during last month.

By and large, almost all the 26 blocks in the district experienced uneven distribution of rainfall during June
and July. This has upset the inter-cultural and transplantation operations of the kharif crops.

The sources further said that the persistent unfavourable temperature, ranging between 23 degrees Celsius
(minimum) and 34 degrees Celsius (maximum) with a relative humidity of 91 per cent for more than a
fortnight has also been responsible for delayed agricultural operations including transplantation in most
places of the district.

Truant monsoon and erratic rainfall have upset the target of bringing 3,81,300 hectares under paddy,
sources said, adding that an area of 2,31,055 hectares was brought under paddy, leaving one-and-a-half
lakh hectares barren. Similarly, in the non-paddy sector, over 33,000 hectares of land had been left barren,
with 87,468 hectares being cultivated against the target of 1,20,971 hectares scheduled to be achieved
under the non-paddy sector.

Meanwhile, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's Mayurbhanj district unit has demanded the district be declared
as "drought-hit". Gurva Soren, a progressive farmer of Raikadjharan village under Betna Gram Panchayat

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Odisha Drought Update- Aug 11- 18, 2009

said the uneven distribution of rains and the humid temperature has also triggered fears of disease and
pests attacking the paddy saplings.

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