Siraha, September 7 :

The District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee (DNDRC), Siraha, has decided to demand Rs 2.5 million from the government as relief fund for the drought-affected people in the district.

Local officials have not yet distributed the Rs 4.14 lakh given by the government earlier as relief, saying that the sum is inadequate.

A meeting of representatives of the seven political parties today decided to spend the bulk of the sum provided on buying five tonnes of maize seeds and distribute it to the drought-affected at a 50 per cent subsidy.

The remaining amount will be used to repair irrigation canals, chairman of the Joint left Front, Siraha, Chandra Dev Kamati said.

Central member of the Farmers’ Association, Dukhi Das, said around 50,000 locals here are affected by drought.

He added that the 50 per cent subsidy on maize seeds alone would not provide any relief to the farmers. He said that wheat and pulse seeds also should be provided at a 50 per cent subsidy.

The Siraha District Agriculture Office said at least Rs 8 million more would be needed to provide wheat seeds on subsidy to the drought affected.

There is irrigation facility for 20,000 hectares of land only in the district.

Paddy is cultivated in over 70,000 hectares in Siraha district.