Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday issued orders declaring 456 mandals (tehsils) in 15 districts as drought-hit in view of deficient rainfall this season.
State revenue minister N Raghuveera Reddy, meanwhile, said another 93 mandals in four districts have also been identified as drought-affected. Formal orders notifying these mandals as drought-hit are yet to be issued.
During the south-west monsoon period (1 June to 30 September), the state received an average rainfall of 532.7 mm as against the normal 624.1 mm, with a deviation of -%. Several mandals spread over 20 districts received deficit rainfall of above –20%.
The deficit rainfall has resulted in damage to standing rain-fed crops due to moisture stress in more than 16 lakh hectares as reported by the Department of Agriculture, according to Disaster Management Commissioner T Radha.
On the other hand, the revenue minister said horticulture crops in 10 lakh hectares also suffered damage because of drought.
Following is the number of drought-hit mandals as per the government notification issued today: Anathapur (63), Nalgonda (52), Karimnagar (50), Medak (43), Mahabubnagar (41) Prakasam (38) Khammam (31), Kurnool (29), Kadapa (28), Rangareddy (26), Chittoor (13), Krishna (13), Guntur (11), Srikakulam (10) and Visakhapatnam (08).
Another 36 mandals in Chittoor, 34 in Warangal, 18 in Adilabad and five in Karimnagar have also been identified as drought-affected but a formal notification in this regard will be issued subsequently.
Meanwhile, Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu launched a padayatra (foot march) from Anantapur district to highlight the misery of farmers. He demanded that the government pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre to farmers who lost their crops due to drought.
Chandrababu wanted a special session of Parliament convened to discuss the farmers’ issues and the crisis faced by the agriculture sector.
“It is unfortunate that the M S Swaminathan Committee recommendations have not been discussed by Parliament so far. The Centre should immediately convene a special session of Parliament to discuss the agriculture scientist’s recommendations to pull the agriculture sector out of the crisis,” the former chief minister demanded.