Drought fear looms large in Palamu, huge exodus feared

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Drought fear looms large in Palamu, huge exodus feared

Saturday, 06 August 2022 | M FAIYAZ AHMAD | DALTONGANJ

Is Palamu plunging into 1991 - 92 drought when the then Prime Minister of India P V Narasimha Rao had reached Daltonganj to take stock of the situation here?

Sources said things are getting from bad to worse with scanty rain around. There is no work going on in major parts of Palamu where rural employment should have been made  easily available. MGNREGA scheme is one which is least talked about.

Sources said as earth work is unskilled labourers' friendly administration here should start 3 or 4 rural earthen rural schemes in every 260 plus panchayats here to provide employment and wages at local level.

Two things are awaited. Exodus and hunger. Palamu is too infamous for it. If the exodus sets in it will be of a very large scale. The loss of agriculture is a loss of employment here in Palamu. 

Sources said the administration last month demolished around a dozen illegal brick kilns rendering its labourers all employment less.

A labourer of brick kiln can't be fit for road making or well digging as he is not cut out for this kind of job.

Sources said  many districts in the state including Palamu are fit to be declared  drought hit if the indices for the declaration of drought as enshrined  in the Manual for Drought Management of the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare government of India are thoroughly  taken note of.

The Pioneer  has a digital copy of this Manual of 2016 meant for the declaration of drought which is in chapter 3. It clearly reads if there is deficiency of rain fall in two consecutive months June and July then it is a case for the declaration of drought.

Palamu has a 65 percent deficiency of  rain and its two months June and July have been months of worries only for the scantiest of the rains. Again the manual reads there should be a reduction in crop sowing. Here in Palamu the crop sowing is dismal.

Crop sowing has been disastrous in Palamu. For Kharif crop the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare government of India has a cap sowing percentage of 33.3 percent till the month of August and if it is less then it qualifies  to be declared drought. In Palamu right now the sowing percentage is not even the double figure.

Again there is failed sowing. In Palamu sowing has failed. Farmers are ruing their luck to lose paddy saplings dying in the fields. Paddy saplings have become yellow and hollow. These saplings are past any hope  of the transportation.

As regards surface wetness it is here in Palamu which means grasses for the cattle are available but if the deficiency of rain persists there is bound to be hard times for the cattle as well. Pale grasses are eaten by none.

DC Palamu Anjaneyulu Dodde said there is a Task Force in the district which is monitoring the day to day situation here.

Dodde asked for rain water harvesting structures and revival of such water bodies that are in poor condition.

State convener of the NREGA Watch James Heranj said people are talking about difficult days when more money will be needed to buy food and then the poor will be wanting in buying food for them.

Sources said the water level in the reservoirs is fluctuating in Palamu. There is a century old Talaab at Namdhari Gurudwara which has all time low water level now.

Fish production is set to be hit by the drought as water level in the ponds and tanks are receding too fast.

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