The Karnataka government declared on Wednesday that close to 90% of the state’s taluks were drought-hit in the Rabi season. 156 out of 176 taluks across 30 districts were declared drought-hit based on central government guidelines.
The drought condition in the state has deteriorated since September, when 100 talukas across 23 districts were declared drought-hit. The state has been facing three successive years of drought leading to low agricultural produce, and has already sought central government assistance of Rs 2,434 crore.
“Mandatory and impact indicators prescribed in the Manual for Drought Management 2016 for North East Monsoon season, 156 taluks qualifies to be notified as drought. Therefore, 153 taluks will be notified as drought affected during Rabi 2018. Based on the crop loss survey and ground truthing the taluks will be categorized as severe or moderate,” Karnataka’s Principal Secretary for Disaster Management Ganga Ram Baderia.
To meet drinking water needs, the government is supplying water to 283 villages through 524 tankers and 315 private borewells (through pipelines) in 17 districts. For the next 90 days, the restriction on the supply of drinking water through tankers has been removed.
According to the crop survey as on December 21, 26.03 lakh hectares have been sown, against the target of 31.80 lakh hectares. In 2017, by December 21, 29.09 lakh hectares had been sown.
This comes after an equally bad Kharif season, when only 89% of the target set according to the south-west monsoon projection could be sown. 9 lakh hectares of land remained unsown.
Two of the six districts that were not drought-hit were massively affected by heavy flooding and landslides, which impacted cash crops such as coffee. In total, 45 taluks in Malnad and the coastal belt were flood affected, and 86 taluks faced drought.
The state government had earlier estimated loss due to floods, landslides and drought during the Kharif season to be over Rs 20,000 crore.