‘Declare Bhojpur a drought-hit district’

Bhojpur, January 6:

Farmers in Bhojpur district ha-ve demanded that they be declared a drought-hit district as crops have been destroyed fr-om drought, hailstones, and a disease called ranke.

The statistics published by the cooperation sub-committee formed to help farmers has showed that 84 per cent production has been decreased in Bhojpur because of the natural disasters. The farmers have demanded immediate relief after food-grains worth tens of millions of rupees were destroyed.

All the 63 VDCs are affected from drought, causing a low production of grains. Among them 26 VDCs, including Sanodumma, Thulo Dumma, Chyangre, Amtek, Yangpang, Jarayotar, Homtang, Khairang, Dewantar, Pancha, Patlepani and Pawala are the worst hit.

They could not even save seeds because of the long dro-ught. “Seeds worth Rs 29 million is needed for next year,” said Jhurendra Parajuli, convener of the sub-committee. “Likewise, paddy worth Rs 15,000,000 was also destroyed in nine VDCs of the east and north areas from hailstones,” an extensive study of the sub-committee stated. “We even do not have grains for our own consumption,” said the farmers. “The farmers will starve to death, if the government does not provided food grains,” said Guru Prasad Rai, headmaster, Arun Secondary School, Dingl-a. Students, of the hailstone-hit areas, instead of going to school, go to paddy field in search of food-grains.

“Some 152,000-kg grain will give farmers a relief for one month,” the farmers said. “Otherwise, the situation will become grave,” they added.

“Short-term and long-term plans are needed for the relief of the farmers,” said Sherdhan Rai, the MP. “The victims are vulnerable as a decision to provide Rs 4,50,000 is a meagre amount,” he added.