DR. U. VENKATESWARLU (TENALI): Sir, I want to draw the attention of the Government to the recent severe drought conditions which prevailed during Kharif season in the State of Andhra Pradesh. It was quite unprecedented. As many as 12 districts have severely been affected. Sowings also were not normal during this year. Only 69.54 lakh hectares of land could be sown as against a normal area of 80.16 lakh hectares owing to prolonged dry spells quite unusually ranging from 21 to 60 days. This resulted in heavy loss of crops in general and the major groundnut crops in particular. The crop losses were estimated at about Rs.2566.91 crore. There is scarcity of drinking water. Most of the agricultural labourers are waiting for wage employment since there are no agricultural operations.
The Central team has also visited the State and assessed the situation. But surprisingly, no assistance has been released in this regard so far.
In view of the severity of drought and also urgency to provide drinking water to the people and wage employment to agricultural labourers, I urge upon the Government to immediately sanction a sum of Rs.720 crore and release Rs.200 crore immediately.