Chief Secretary Anil Khachi in a video conference with the Deputy Commissioners today to review the preparedness to deal with drought like situation in the state, instructed the agriculture, horticulture and the allied departments to prepare district level action plans to readily mitigate with such situation. He said crop weather watch groups must also be constituted besides the agriculture department should prepare a sound database on weather, crop conditions to assist the state disaster management authority (SDMA).
He said that presently drinking water supply was normal across the state however as per the information supplied by the districts agriculture sector had been affected due to scanty rainfall during this year.
It was disclosed in the meeting that out of total 413134 hectare cropped area, 146508 hectares of area had been affected due to less rainfall in state as of now with an estimated loss to the tune of Rs. 10820.57 lakh. As per the preliminary data received, the highest loss had been reported in district Bilaspur where 20280 hectares of land out of total cropped area of 28020 hectares had been affected resulting in loss of Rs. 3259.37 lakh. In district Chamba, 3571 hectares of land had been reported to be affected causing loss of Rs. 815.58 lakh. Similarly, all other districts had also been affected due to scanty rainfall.
Anil Khachi said that various schemes of Jal Shakti Vibhag had also been affected due to short rainfall. Out of total 9526 schemes of the department, 401 schemes had been affected up to 25 percent, 197 schemes between 25 to 50 percent, 87 schemes between 50 to 75 percent and 28 schemes affected were more than 75 percent. He said that to overcome this problem, Jal Shakti Vibhag must identify the water suppliers in the respective areas and fix the rates for transportation of drinking water as and where required.
He directed to repair the dewatering hand pumps and maintain all the traditional as well as private water resources besides cleaning of natural water bodies and to make available adequate water sterilization tablets in each district. He said that the representatives of PRIs should also be involved in this work and PRI representatives should be sensitised regarding water preservation and conservation methods.
CS said that as of now, no district was facing fodder scarcity but the Animal Husbandry department needed to prepare location, inventory, requirement and movement plan in advance so that the farmers might not face any inconvenience. The transport rates should be in place, on need basis, whenever the fodder is required. He stressed on package of practice to be possible. Veterinary services should be geared up so that no major outbreak of disease takes place due to drought like situation if any. He also directed to ensure a fully functional mobile veterinary unit to control animal diseases and identifying proper places for disposing off animal carcases. He asked all the Chief Medical officers to constitute emergency medical teams at PHC level to check the outbreak of any epidemic due to water borne diseases.
He directed the Forest department to maintain a list of forest fire prone areas so that manpower could be deployed to keep a watch in such areas. He directed the Deputy Commissioners to plan a meeting with forest officers so that the fires could be minimised and controlled well in time
Additional Chief Secretaries Nisha Singh and J.C Sharma, Director Agriculture Naresh Thakur, Director Horticulture J.P. Sharma and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.