Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday asked officials to use drones to spray pesticides to protect the standing crops.
He gave the direction at a meeting to review the situation created by the dry spell.
Naidu said that dry spell mitigation is important and directed the officials to meet the demand to protect the standing crops.
He said officials should provide water for one wetting for dry crops using rain guns wherever necessary.
The Chief Minister said that the water availability in the state including in reservoirs, tanks and ground water stands at 645 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) and there was an increase of 161.80 tmcft of water this year when compared to last year.
He said a report should be prepared on the prevailing drought conditions in nearly 55 'mandals' (blocks) to be submitted to the Central government.
The Chief Minister asked the officials to come out with an action plan to use National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) funds. He asked officials to complete the works by setting weekly targets.
The state has been proactive in using drones, with Naidu directing officials in 2016 to prepare a roadmap for using drone technology for real-time governance inputs.
At a review meeting with officials of the Andhra Pradesh Fiber Grid project at the time, Naidu pointed to the use of drones for crowd control, traffic management and the regulation of crime, adding that drone use could be expanded to include tourism, agriculture, mines, forests, irrigation projects, law and order maintenance and municipal administration.
He also said that a state-level command centre would be set up in the state capital with regional centres in Vishakapatnam, Vijayawada, Tirupati and Anantapur and district-level centres to coordinate the situation at the ground level and provide for real-time decision making and efficient and responsive administration.