Bundelkhand stares at drought 2015
84%, the rainfall deficit for the last month in western UP and Bundelkhand
(comprising a total of 30 districts) is the second-highest deficit, after
Maharashtra's Vidarbha region (88%). The deficit was corrected due to rainfall
in the first week of November. Between October 1 and 28, the deficit was 97%.
This deficit is much higher than of Maharashtra's Marathwada region, which
saw 74% deficit. Marathwada had recently seen a string of drought-related farmer
While the region should have had 43.1 mm rainfall in this
period, it only saw 6.8. Among the worst-hit districts in the state are Badaun
(100%), Meerut (98%), Mathura (98%), Baghpat (96%), Firozabad (95%) and Bijnor
(94%). Overall, the state suffered a rainfall deficit of 79%.
This raises concerns of an impending drought. CM Akhilesh
Yadav had last week written to the PM, seeking a loan so the distress of farmers
could be eased. The rabi wheat crop could take a drubbing, for the second year
in a row after the unseasonal rain of March-April hit farmers hard.
Urging the PM to take the decision in light of the extreme
stress being faced by agrarian families, the CM said that existing interest
subvention schemes should be extended to the farmers. In light of a potential
drought in UP, chief secretary Alok Ranjan had even directed all district
magistrates and commissioners to stop, with immediate effect and until further
orders, recovery of loans from farmers.
Just two days prior to the CM's letter to the PM, former AAP
leader Yogendra Yadav had hit out at the state government and demanded that UP
be declared "calamity-hit".
Yadav had said, "Uttar Pradesh has been the centre of the
drought which has hit the country. The situation in the eastern and Bundelkhand
region is such that it could take the shape of a famine. For the animals it is
already a famine. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka have been declared
drought-hit but in UP, where the situation is so alarming, the government has
not yet done the same."
Ashok Kumar, professor at Sardar Vallabhai Patel University
of Agriculture's department of soil science, said, "As we know, rainfall was
less even in the monsoon. During the kharif season, farmers somehow managed with
water from streams and with groundwater. However, this put considerable pressure
on groundwater levels in these regions. With the onset of the rabi season, it is
important that not much pressure be put on groundwater. Eastern UP and
Bundelkhand will feel more stress as compared to central and western UP. Rain is
the primary source of irrigation in these regions."
Courtesy: Times of India