Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren said on Friday that the State government was taking all efforts to overcome the “drought-like situation” in the State. If there was no rain by the end of this month, the State would approach the Centre to declare Manipur drought-hit.
Mr. Biren presented 40 water-pump sets to farmers to help irrigate parched paddy fields. He also disclosed that the Agriculture department was procuring 126 pump sets for immediate distribution to the farmers. Another 100 pump sets would be purchased in the next few days.
The government had activated 157 lift irrigation schemes, he said.
Most farmers have sown paddy seeds in the parched fields. Some of them said that there were water bodies at many places but there were no irrigation networks.
Due to erratic rains last year, paddy harvest was poor and the State is facing difficulty in supplying rice to BPL families. The government is trying to bring rice from the Food Corporation of India godowns in Assam and Nagaland before the onset of the monsoon. During the rains, landslides can affect transport along the National Highways 2 and 37, which are the lifelines of Manipur.
The government has stopped tap water supply in most parts of the State as the rivers have dried up.