U.S. Water News Online
BHUBANESWAR, India -- The eastern Indian state of Orissa is
facing one of the worst droughts in its 64-year history because of
inadequate rainfall during the last monsoon and has declared 11,807
villages are suffering from lack of water and loss of crops.
The state government ordered emergency feeding centers to open.
State Revenue Minister B.B. Harichandan said that by the end of
last month, more villages may be declared as drought-hit after local
officials submit their harvest reports.
Among the drought-hit villages, 6,023 have recorded crop loss of
75 per cent or more, he said. The crop loss varies from 50 to 74
percent in the other villages.
Harichandan said the state government had provided $9.19 million
to the affected areas and asked for an additional $9.67 million from
the national government.
He said no starvation deaths have occurred, despite news reports.
``We had received 61 reports of alleged starvation deaths from
different drought-hit districts through local newspapers. But after a
detailed investigation, the allegations of starvation deaths were
found to be untrue,'' Harichandan said.
Orissa is one of India's poorest states. Its eastern portion
suffers from devastating cyclones and floods while the inland regions
had virtually no rainfall last year.
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