32 districts of Tamilnadu, declared drought-hit

Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam declared 32 districts of the state drought-hit owing to the failure of the northeast monsoon. About 144 farmers have reportedly died in the state in the past three months due to crop failure.

Including land tax waiver for farmers, Tamilnadu CM announced a slew of relief measures, to tackle drought situation in the State. He also assured to grant a solatium of Rs. 3 lakh to families of each of these farmers. His decision comes after the reports are submitted by high-level teams comprising ministers and senior bureaucrats in all districts, barring Chennai.

As huge funds were required to protect people from drought, assistance from the Centre would be sought and a petition sent to the Centre at the earliest, Mr. O Panneerselvam said in a statement.

Cooperative banks have lent loans to the tune of Rs. 3,028 crore and all these loans will be converted into medium term loans.

As per the guidelines under disaster relief, farmers who have incurred a crop damage of more than 33 percent will be given Rs 565 per acre of paddy crop.

A sum of Rs. 3,400 crore would be spent for desilting reservoirs and channels and restoration of lakes, which would also ensure employment for farming workers.

Also, the days of work for workers under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme would be increased from 100 days to 150 days.

A sum of Rs. 78 crore would be spent for the fodder needs of cattle and Rs. 160 crore would be earmarked for works for improving resources for the drinking water needs in urban areas through the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department.

A sum of Rs. 350 crore would be allocated for the same in rural areas through Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department.

Rs. 25 crores would be allocated to the PWD for improving the groundwater table and to boost drinking water resources.

Rs. 5 crores would be allocated to boost fodder and drinking water resources to the wildlife.

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