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Odisha Drought Update- Aug 19-26, 2009

No 3 Aug
19-26, 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
1. Flood Update 1
This Drought Update is being circulated among media, decision makers –
2. Flood Update 2
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
5. Flood update 5
6. Flood update 6
kindly mail (baitarani@gmail.com) /phone (Subhendu: 7. Flood update7
9937577428/0674-6450323) us such events/developments related to 8. Flood update 8
Drought in your areas for adding value and meaning to this Civil Society 9. Flood update 9
10. Flood update 10
Initiative. 11. Flood update 11
Needless to say that all such news will be acknowledged with source 12. Flood update 12
13. Flood update 13
14. Flood Alert 14

CONTENTS
1.News (Headlines) from Odisha Media during Aug 19-26 2009................................2
a.Drought Situation in the State.......................................................................................................2
b.Drought Affected Areas – Shadow on Nuakhai ...................................................................................2
c.Impact on Agriculture.................................................................................................................2
d.Impact on Economy...................................................................................................................2
e.Drought Reactions/Responses from Political parties/Civil Society/Media....................................................3
f.Response of the State/Central Govt................................................................................................3
2.Selected News from Local English Media (19-26 Aug).........................................3
a.Samruddha Odisha demands government to declare as drought affected state.............................................3
b.Orissa farmers seek government aid to check pest menace ...................................................................4
c.‘Declare Orissa drought-hit’ ........................................................................................................5
d.Orissa Agriculture minister says no drought like situation in state............................................................5
e.246 districts in 10 states drought hit: Pawar......................................................................................6
f.Pranab rules out fresh farm debt waiver .........................................................................................6
g.Drought-proofing measures needed, says Naveen ..............................................................................7
h.Crop insurance comes a cropper in Sambalpur ..................................................................................7

- 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 19-26, 2009

1.News (Headlines) from Odisha Media during Aug 19-26 2009
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a. Drought Situation in the State
o 20% to 89% less rain 25 districts in Orissa (Samaj-19th August)
o Drought knocking at the door (IE- 22nd August)
o Orissa under black shadow of drought (Khabar– 24th August)

b. Drought Affected Areas – Shadow on Nuakhai
o No of drought affected districts reaches 209 in the country (Khabar- 19th August)
o Late monsoon, late cropping; subdued Nuakhai with drought and caterpillar (Sambad-22nd August)
o Drought in border districts like Gajapati(Sambad-22nd August)
o Drought like situation in Keonjhar (Khabar- 22nd August)
o Drought shadow over Nuakhai(IE– 24th August)
o For hopeless, drought affected farmers, Nuakhai observation is just a ritual (Sambad- 24th August)
o Nuakhai, a low key affair in Sundargarh(IE-25th Aug)
o Lost flavor of Nuakhai in drought affected Western Orissa (Sambad-25th Aug)

c. Impact on Agriculture
o Irregular rain; Kharif crops to be affected(Khabar- 19th August)
o First drought came, now caterpillar in Bamara (Sambad- 19th August)
o 6544 hectare agri land under caterpillar and drought attack (Sambad- 19th August)
o Kharif crop may get damaged for rain, farmers in uncertainty (Pragatibadi- 19th August)
o Drought; farmers in dilemma (IE- 21st August)
o Kharif crop attacked by caterpillars, farmers mooting protest demanding waiver of agri. Loan in
Sundergarh (Khabar-23rd August)
o More paddy fields come under pest attack (IE-25th Aug)

d. Impact on Economy
o Defiant rains may lead to further prices rise- RBI (IE- 19th August)
o No fresh farm debt waiver- centre (IE- 19th August)
o Enough food grain in stock, no fear of drought- PM (Pragatibadi- 19th August)
o Paddy support price rises (Dharitri - 21st August)
o Food may be imported- Centre (IE- 22nd August)

1
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 19-26, 2009

o Erratic monsoon hits rural economy (IE– 24th August)

e. Drought Reactions/Responses from Political parties/Civil Society/Media
o Orissa name missing on center’s drought affected list, State govt yet to act- Braja Tripathy
(Dharitri - 21st August)
o Declare Orissa drought hit- former Union Min- Braja Tripaty (IE- 21st August)
o PCC Chief writes to Sonia on drought control in Orissa (Samaj- 22nd August)
o Be concerned about farmers- Editorial (Sambad-22nd August)
o PCC creates new committee and control room for drought situation (Pragatibadi-22nd August)
o Declare Orissa as drought hit: Samrudha Orissa (Samaj- 22nd August)
o Samrudha Orissa flays failure; Waive tuition fees in drought hit areas(IE- 22nd August)
o Samrudha Orissa presented memorandum to Govt – declare Orissa as drought affected
(Dharitri-23rd Aug)
o ‘Eat less-solution to drought’- Lalu Prasad (Pragatibadi- 23rd August)
o State govt is careless in spite of drought situation- Jagaran Manch (Samaj- 24th August)
o Orissa drought affected, careless state govt- Braj Tipathy (Sambad- 24th August)
o Memorandum submitted to Gov to declare Orissa as drought affected (Sambad- 24th August)
o Baman Ghati Farmers association demonstrates demanding drought declaration (Khabar-25th Aug)

f. Response of the State/Central Govt
o Central govt rules out loan waiver (IE- 19th August)
o Drought –proofing measures needed- Naveen (IE- 19th August)
o Concerns expressed in CMs’ meeting at New Delhi (Samaj-19th August)
o Long term plans should be prepared to combat drought- Naveen Pattanaik(Khabar- 19th August)
o Drought measures- Govt raises support price for paddy (IE- 21st August)
o Centre no serious about drought situation in Orissa- BJD (Khabar-25th Aug)
o Help state tide over drought like situation –BJD (IE-25th Aug)

2.Selected News from Local English Media (19-26 Aug) 2

a. Samruddha Odisha demands government to declare as drought affected state

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Report by Orissadiary correspondent; Bhubaneswar: The Samruddha Odisha on Friday organised a
demonstration at the PMG Squarehere demanding Orissa to be declared as a drought affected state. The

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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 19-26, 2009

meeting presided over by party president Jatish Chandra Mohanty submitted a memorandum to this effect
to the Governor.

The party in the memorandum stated that the state has been frequently affected by natural calamities.
Sometimes, drought, flood or storms have broken the backbone of farmers. In the current year, the
intermittent rains have hit the farmers. While in June the rainfall was 60.3 per cent less, in July it was
72.8 per cent more and in August it was 49.5 less.

As the drought situation has loomed large in the state, due to the laxity of the state government, the state
is yet to be declared as drought affected while on the other hand, three states have been already declared
drought affected, it stated.

On Thursday, the government has declared 456 blocks as drought affected. The water levels in the
reservoirs of Upper Kolab, Rengali, Balimela and Hirakhud are less than the previous year adding more
woes for the farmers. Among others, party’s vice-president Gorachand Barik, secretary general Prabir
Mohanty, youth leader Gyanendra Tripathy, Ashok Dora, Ashok Rath, Shiba Naryan Panda, Surendra Panda
and many farmers’ representatives were present at the meeting

b. Orissa farmers seek government aid to check pest menace
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Report by Deba Prasad Dash; Malkangiri: While the farmers of this tribal dominated continue to reel under
water stressed condition; the appearance of swarming caterpillars has given them sleepless nights. No sight
of rain and humid conditions has compounded the problem with the caterpillars growing in number and
concentration. Korukonda and Kudmulgumma blocks are worst affected.While paddy fields have developed
cracks for want of water, the swarming caterpillars have devoured the few standing crops. While the
farmers are Being clueless about the ways to check further spread of the caterpillar menace, the affected
farmers now waiting for the government aid to fight the pesticides. The insects, whose agronomical name
is ‘Swarming Caterpillar’ usually comes in masses by floating in the flood water. They are black in colour
and measure less than one inch in length.

Paddy crop in hundreds of hectares in Tarlakota, Chitapari-III, Korukonda,Kambeda and Nilakamberu gram
panchyats under Korukonda block and Somnathpur, Nakamamudi, Parkanmala, Kudmulgumma, Badpada,
Badpadar, Jodamba and Paparmetla gram panchyats under Kudmulgumma block has been damaged
following the insect attack, sources said. No adequate help from the district agriculture department has
yet reached the affected farmers although the first reports of swarming of their fields by the insects came
in more than a week ago
The farmers who are not able to use the costly pesticides to fight the menace of insects, locally known as
“Leda poka”, now hope to reap less due to the insecticide attack, says Kamla Chalan ,a farmer of
Chitapari-III village.

While, Balram Sisha , a small farmer of the same villages says that about three acres of his total five acres
of paddy crops has been totally destroyed due to the pests. The rest of the paddy crops will be also eaten
away soon by the swarming caterpillars if pesticides and sprayers are supplied to fight against the insects,
Sisha said.

Sources said, a handful of rich farmers in some areas tried to prevent the onslaught by spraying costly
insecticides on their fields, but the pests, fleeing from the insecticides, merely took up position in the
neighboring fields, the owners of which could not afford to buy the costly chemicals.

“Caterpillars usually come in masses by floating in the flood water. They settle down on the inner surface
of the young leaves, usually two insects sharing a single leaf. Each insect lay at least 50 eggs before being
shaken off the leaf.

The eggs hatched within a week and the new-born insects stayed back, drawing sustenance from the
young, green leaves. When they leave, the leaves are dead and their colours turned pale white”, said, an
Agro scientist here. 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

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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 Korukonda
and Kudmulgumma blocks are in the grip of caterpillar menace while about 16 gram panchayats of both the
blocks are struggling hard to contain the pests. Unless adequate pesticides are supplied to contain the
pests,more paddy crops in the other parts of the district will be affected soon while compelling the farmers
to incur a heavy loss.

c. ‘Declare Orissa drought-hit’
Express News Service
First Published : 21 Aug 2009 02:23:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 21 Aug 2009 10:55:14 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Former Union minister and BJP leader Braja Kishore Tripathy today demanded immediate
declaration of Orissa as a drought-affected state because the fickle monsoon and deficient rainfall in
almost all the districts are likely to affect food grains output.

Criticising the State Government for ignoring warning from agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan, who
visited Orissa two months back, in this regard, Tripathy told newspersons here that neglect of the farm
sector has resulted in this sorry state of affairs.

Though there has been deficient rainfall in a number of districts, the State Government has neither
reviewed the situation nor informed the Centre about the seriousness, he said. Centre declared 129
districts of the country drought- affected after the chief ministers’ conference in Delhi on Tuesday.
But not a single district from the State has been included in this as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik did not
raise any demand, he said.

Deficient rainfall has led to ‘sprouting blight’ and pest attack in Western Orissa districts, Tripathy said,
adding that the State Government does not seem to be serious in taking steps to tackle the situation.
Tripathy predicted drinking water crisis in the coming days in the State.
He said though 50 per cent of the tube wells are defunct, no steps had been taken for their repair. Besides,
the State Government has shown no initiative to make the lift irrigation points functional.

The former Union minister said that mismanagement in distribution of water from the reservoirs has
depleted the dams which may lead to power crisis in the coming days.
Criticising the Government for its ‘anti-farmer’ policies, Tripathy said that the Orissa Agro Industries
Corporation (OAIC) which supplied farm implements at a subsidised rate is almost closed.

d. Orissa Agriculture minister says no drought like situation in state
Monday, August 24, 2009

Bhubaneswar: In a significant development Orissa Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout on Monday ruled out
any possibility of drought-like situation despite inconsistent rainfall in the state.

Rout said though 13 districts have received 20 percent less rains, the monsoon caught up from the first
week of July and the state received 93 millimetres of additional rain. Despite this, agricultural works in
nearly one lakh hectares of land has been affected.

It should be noted that Rout while attending the conference of agriculture ministers at New Delhi and had
demanded to incorporate 30 districts of Orissa under Food Security Mission and Udyan Krushi Mission.

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e. 246 districts in 10 states drought hit: Pawar

PTI 19 August 2009, 02:28pm IST

NEW DELHI: Food and agriculture minister on Wednesday said that 246 districts in 10 states have been
declared drought hit.

He earlier informed that rice production may slump by 10 million tonnes this Kharif season as drought has
plagued over one-third of the country, prompting the government to boost the public distribution system
and intervene in the market to curb price rise.

"Shortfall in monsoon may result in a shortfall in area coverage of paddy by about 5.7 million hectares
compared with last year and the production of rice may be reduced by 10 million tonnes," Sharad Pawar
said, addressing food ministers of states.

India produced 99.15 million tonnes of rice in 2008-09, including 84.58 million tonnes during the last
Kharif.

The minister observed that the dip in the Kharif output of rice might trigger an upward spiral of foodgrain
prices and conveyed the Centre's action plan to counter a rise in rates.

"If required, the government would not hesitate to undertake open market intervention and release of
wheat and rice under the open market sale scheme," Pawar said.

This means the government may buy more to build adequate reserves and strengthen the PDS for any
contingency. And, Pawar asked states to ensure the purchase of at least half of the total rice procured by
private millers for the PDS.

Also, Pawar expected some shortfall in the output of oilseeds and sugarcane due to poor monsoon, which
has brought 29 per cent less than the normal rainfall in the country.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that the state is going to witness the worst
drought of the century due to the scanty rainfall in as many as 37 districts following which it has declared
them drought-affected.

"Due to scanty rainfall, as many as 37 districts of the state were declared drought-affected," Chouhan told
reporters yesterday.

The districts which were declared drought-affected are Alirajpur, Ashok Nagar, Anuppur, Barwani, Bhind,
Balaghat, Burhanpur, Chhatarpur, Dewas, Dindori, Datia, Damoh, Guna, Gwalior, Jhabua, Jabalpur, Katni,
Khandwa, Morena, Mandla, Narsinghpur, Panna, Ratlam, Raisen, Rewa, Satna, Sidhi, Singrauli, Shahdol,
Sagar, Sehore, Shivpuri, Sheopur Kalan, Shajapur, Tikamgarh, Umaria and Vidisha.

Chouhan said that he has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to send a study team to assess the

f. Pranab rules out fresh farm debt waiver

By PTI
18 Aug 2009 05:46:32 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Exuding confidence that the economy would grow by over six per cent despite erratic
monsoon, the government today said it is not considering any fresh proposal for farm debt waiver even as
over one-fourth of the country is reeling under drought.
"There is no such proposal," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said when asked if the government was
considering a fresh debt waiver scheme to give relief to farmers.

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The UPA government had last year announced a nearly Rs 71,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme to offer
relief to small and marginal farmers and one-time settlement scheme for large ones.
Talking to reporters after holding a review meeting of Regional Rural Banks, he exuded confidence that the
economy would clock over six per cent growth despite weak monsoon.
"No doubt, this year we are not expecting to reach nine per cent growth. This year we are projecting six
per cent plus growth," he said, adding that the full impact of drought will be known to all as and when it is
felt.
Meanwhile, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said the poor monsoon will
adversely impact farm production and eat into economic growth.
"The existence of drought by itself can lead to some shaving" off of the growth projections.
The impact, however, would not be much on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as agriculture production
constitutes less than 20 per cent of the economy, Ahluwalia said.
On the impact of decline in farm output on economic growth, he said, "If you have decline in farm
production, one fifth of that percentage would be knocked off from projected GDP growth rate. Obviously,
there would be some effect but not very large".
Pointing out that Kharif (summer crop) will suffer on account of poor monsoon, Ahluwalia said, there would
be no impact on Rabi (winter crop).
"The negative impact (of drought) will not be on the country as a whole, but in some affected parts. No
doubt that the (farm) output of some states will fall and there will be some distress," he added.
As regards failure of monsoon, Mukherjee had said yesterday that drought has set in and the group of
ministers (GoM) would meet on regular basis to review the situation and take measures to mitigate its
impact.
According to reports, rainfall in the country between June one and August 12 has been 29 per cent below
normal.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said yesterday that 207 districts in the country are facing drought or
drought like situation.

g. Drought-proofing measures needed, says Naveen

By Express News Service
19 Aug 2009 03:08:00 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested the Centre to extend the area under the
watershed development programmes in the State and initiate special programmes for rainfed agriculture to
tide over the situation arising out of a bad monsoon.

Addressing a conference of the chief ministers on drought, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh in Delhi, Naveen said rainfall had been erratic during the current monsoon season.
Stating that the distribution of rainfall has been a cause for concern, he said that erratic rainfall has not
only delayed various agricultural operations, but may also affect the final crop coverage and productivity
of various kharif crops.

While the State Government has taken various measures to effectively deal with erratic monsoon, he
underscored the need for long-term drought-proofing measures as behaviour of monsoon is expected to be
more unpredictable.

h. Crop insurance comes a cropper in Sambalpur

By Phanindra Pradhan
18 Aug 2009 04:53:00 AM IST

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SAMBALPUR: When the all risk Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme (CCIS) was introduced in 1985 and
subsequently changed to Rashtriya Krishi Bima Yojana (RKBY) with the objective to provide insurance cover
and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crops, it was welcomed
by farmers across the nation. But 24 years after, even as Sambalpur is in the grip of drought, few farmers
seem to be benefitting from the scheme.

A close look at the entire crop insurance scheme in the district provides a dismal picture. The culprit is the
decision -- to take the block as a unit rather than the gram panchayat -- which has deprived many farmers
the benefit of insurance during the time of distress.

Available statistics reveal that only 6.06 per cent of the paddy cultivable land has been covered under the
crop insurance scheme. Out of the total 1,73,540 hectares of agricultural land, paddy is cultivated over
1,40,000 hectares.
In Sambalpur district, out of the total population of 9.35 lakh about 6.81 lakh reside in rural areas with 75
per cent among them dependent on agriculture. But till July 31 this year, when the crop insurance scheme
closed, a mere 7,140 farmers had availed of crop insurance of which 6,849 are loanee farmers while 291
are non-loanees.
Reports further said the 6,489 loanee farmers have cultivated paddy over 7,868.59 hectares and paid a
premium of Rs 33.29 lakh against an assured sum of Rs 13.93 crore. Similarly, the non-loanee farmers who
have cultivated paddy over 624.12 hectares have paid Rs 37.07 lakh premium against an assured sum of Rs
95.67 lakh.
In our country crop production has been subjected to the vagaries of climate and attack of pests and
diseases. It is in this scenario that the issue of crop insurance assumes a vital role in the stable growth of
the agricultural sector.
The scheme was supposed to act as an umbrella for the farmers to cover all risks, and infuse a sense of
confidence during natural calamities.
But with farmers not satisfied with the parameters of loss assessment like taking rainfall at block level,
early cutoff date for crop insurance and taking block as a unit, many farmers are today out of the
insurance coverage. With paddy fields developing cracks and drought looming large, crop insurance has
failed to fulfil its objective.

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