National

The worst drought in a century

| Updated on: Mar 13, 2017

Repeat failure of the monsoons may have heralded the worst-ever drought in in Kerala in over 100 years. Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharantold the State Assembly on Wednesday that vast tracts of farmland have been decimated.

The crop loss estimated is to be ₹225 crore, over 30,353.06 hectares. Paddy farmers are the worst hit, staring at damage worth ₹106 crore over an area of 26,499.42 hectares.

Other crops, including coconut, banana, vegetables and cash crops have not been spared. The State government anticipated a significant drop in agricultural output, with grave implications for the economy and practically every sphere of activity.

Reservoirs are down to a mere 44 per cent of their storage capacity. And the groundwater level had plunged by 2 to 2.5 metres.The government has launched relief and rehabilitation measures on a war footing, he added. At least 5,698 bore wells have been repaired till date and 9,453 ponds restored across the 14 districts. Additionally, curbs have been imposed until May 31 on digging of bore wells for commercial and industrial use. Water kiosks and tankers have been pressed into service to ferry drinking water.

Published on January 13, 2018

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