27 June :The Manipur government on Saturday declared the state drought-affected due to insufficient rainfall, the state would take up several measures on a war footing to fight the drought.The decision was taken following a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister O.Ibobi Singh, an official spokesperson of the Relief and Disaster Management Department of Manipur said.
To meet the situation, the state cabinet has decided to open nurseries for paddy plants in 1000 hectares at a cost of Rs. 2.7 crore.
The meteorological authority said the state received 475 mm of rainfall this year compared to 739.50 mm of rain by end June last year posing a problem for farmers.
The cabinet also decided to purchase 300 water pumps, including 200 of seven horse power at an expenditure of Rs. 84 lakh and 100 of five horse power at a cost of Rs. 32 lakh, official sources said.
Two hundred temporary dams would also be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 40 lakh.The cabinet directed the state agriculture department to make workable at least 75 of 150 river water lift irrigation projects which were not functioning.
An estimated Rs. 4.41 crores would be spent by the agriculture department, while the minor irrigation department would spend about Rs. 1.5 crore.
The state would also seek financial help from the Central government to fight the drought, P.Parijat Singh minister of Health and Family Welfare, Command Area Development Authority and Labour, said.
A taskforce has been constituted to implement the government decisions on a war-footing, he said.