The Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday labelled 23 more mandals in Prakasam district as drought-hit, taking the total count in the state during the Kharif season this year, to 268.
Earlier, the government had declared 245 mandals out of the total 664 mandals in the state as affected by drought, due to lack of rainfall.
The New Indian Express reported that the government has declared Anantapur district as the worst affected, with 63 mandals facing a drought, followed by Chittoor district with 53, Prakasam district with 46, Kurnool district with 36, Kadapa district with 32, Nellore district with 27 and Srikakulam district with 11.
However, the government is likely to compensate the farmers whose crops were affected during the Kharif season this year.
This year the state received 533.8 mm of rainfall, against the normal 556 mm between June 1 and September 30.
A state government report, which recorded data from August, until October 18, declared deficient rainfall in five districts of the state, and also showed 61.8% deviation towards the negative side between normal and actual rainfall for these months.
Earlier this year, the state proposed a detailed action plan to control the drought.
Explaining the integrated action plan for water conservation, the government said that within six weeksâ€™ time, the government would complete restoration or desiltation of 49,624 water bodies, tanks, farm ponds and community ponds.
The government also said that an innovative measure was taken up to provide protective irrigation through rain guns, to save crops from water stress during prolonged dry spells.
In August, farmers faced huge losses while sowing their crops, after the predictions of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) turned out to be wrong.
While the IMD termed that it would be a 'good monsoon', the state is heading for a drought.