Bhubaneswar,November 19: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday reviewed the drought like situation in the state after the number of farmer suicides increasing each passing day and agricultural activities taking a hit in 139 blocks of 21 districts of Odisha due to scanty rainfall.
In review meeting, it was revealed that Rs 18 crore has been provided to drought-hit farmers as input subsidy. The meeting also decided to extend the period for repayment of loan by one year and four years for the farmers who have suffered 33 per cent and 50 per cent crop loss respectively.
The Chief Minister directed the officials to exempt Plus II and high schools students from paying fees in drought-hit areas. He also asked to wave off 50 per cent of water tax and take stringent action against the local moneylenders.
Tehsildars and BDOs have been directed to organise camps to aware the farmers about special packages for drought-hit areas sources said adding that a 24-hour helpline number has been opened at Special Relief Commissioner's office where farmers can lodge their complaints.